Warts are common growths on the skin. Warts are also referred to as Verruca or Filiform warts. They are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). The virus has the ability to causes a rapid growth of cell on the outer layer of the skin. Once the virus enters the skin, it may take anywhere from 1-8 months for the wart to appear. HPV virus can be acquired sexually, from moist environments (like the locker rooms), or via direct contact. Touching, holding or even kissing a frog does not give you warts.
So far, more than 60 subtypes of HPV have been identified. Some types cause warts on the skin. Others tend to cause warts in the feet and genitals.
Warts generally appear a fleshy mass which are rough to touch. The color may be white or brown. Warts are common in children and frequently seen between the ages of 12-16 years. More than a third of warts tend to disappear on their own within 6 months. Most will disappear without any treatment within 3 years.
For those with warts, one can spread them around the body. Warts usually enter the body from broken down skin. Biting of your nails can also cause spread of the wars to the finger tips and nails.
Warts may be single or multiple. Often they contain numerous black dots which are sometimes called wart seeds. Infact, these black dots are tiny blood vessels. No matter how ugly they look, warts are painless.
Warts are generally harmless and do not cause any symptoms The occasional wart on the toes or fingers can itch. Warts which occur near the joints can be traumatized by repeated friction or pressure. Warts on the feet can sometimes be large and painful when walking.
Plantar warts: Some warts only occur on the soles of the foot. They are usually large and flesh colored lumps. In most cases, they are multiple and tend to aggregate just behind the toes.
Genital warts: Warts in the genitals are acquired though sex. The HPV virus strains, 16 and 32, are responsible for genital warts. They usually appear just next to the vagina but may aggregate near the pubis. With the glamour of anal intercourse, warts are now being seen in increasing frequency around the anus.
Flat warts: These smaller warts are smooth ad usually found on the face or legs. These are most common in children and young adults. . Flat warts may spread on the face from the activities such as shaving
Common Warts: These common warts typically develop on the hand and nails. They may appear gray to flesh colored and are generally covered with rough, hornlike projections
Subungual and periungual warts appear under and around the fingernails or toenails.
Because of the social stigma of being unclean and the poor cosmetic appearance, most individuals want the warts removed. Treatment of warts helps transfer of common warts from spreading to other parts of the body. But despite treatment, warts can recur.