What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of warts? For us, it is a childhood story our parents told us about. They would say that if you touch a frog, then you will get warts on your fingers! That was enough to keep us away from frogs. Superstitions aside, today, we will talk about the actual causes for them occurring on the skin and the different types that exist.
What are warts?
Warts are growths that look like tiny tumours on the surface of your skin. These growths can be pretty unappealing and are also contagious. They usually materialise on the hands, fingers and feet. Most often, their victims tend to be children.
What do warts look like?
Warts can seem hard, grainy and can have a rough texture. According to the type of wart, they tend to look different. While some can look like a blister others, have a cauliflower-like appearance. They are usually skin colour; however, sometimes they can appear brown or blackish too. Many of them have tiny black dots that are blood clots.
What are the different kinds of warts?
Believe it or not, there are different kinds of warts. They differ according to their placement on the body, their thickness and appearance.
Common warts – These tend to manifest mostly around the fingers and hands. They are rough and bumpy and mainly occur in spots where the skin is raw or cut due to nail-biting.
Flat warts – These little buggers pop up anywhere! Most often on children’s faces, men’s beard area and women’s legs. They are flat, like their name suggests, and they also grow in large groups at a time.
Plantar warts – These guys most often crop up on the bottom of the feet. They can be painful due to the pressure put on them while walking and grow inwards in clusters.
Periungual warts – They creep up under the nails or around them. They can also grow under the toenails and affect your nail growth.
Filiform warts – These can be gross to look at. They have a thread-like texture that sometimes looks like cauliflower and grow very fast. They commonly occur on the face, in the mouth, eyes and nose region.
Genital warts – These are transmitted during sexual activity. Like all warts, they spread by touch. They appear like bumps on the skin and are hard to treat. When it comes to women, these can cause cervical cancer. Therefore, if suspected, you must immediately show them to a doctor.
What causes warts?
- Warts are caused by something known as HPV or human papillomavirus. It has over a hundred different variants, and any of these can be the cause of warts on the body.
2. People with lower immune systems are usually more susceptible to them. Therefore, they are more common in children than among adults.
3. People with skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis have a higher risk of getting warts because of their compromised skin barriers.
4. Nail biters and pickers beware. The raw, damaged skin left behind by your biting can be an easy target for HPV.
The silver lining
Warts have been around for as long as we can remember. While they can appear gross and disgusting, they can also go away on their own. Understanding their causes and types can help significantly in reducing the chances of getting them. Some strains can be pretty dangerous and should be immediately addressed by a doctor to initiate the proper treatment. As long as you take the right steps, you should be okay.
1. How is a wart formed?
When infected with HPV, a large amount of keratin is produced. This forms a hard layer on top of your skin’s surface, creating a wart.
2. How long does it take for a wart to grow?
After being infected with HPV, it can take months for a wart to form.
3. Can a wart go away without being treated?
Yes, they can sometimes just go away on their own.
4. How long does it take for a wart to go away?
If left untreated, a wart can take months to even years to go away.