Different Types of Warts

Different Types of Warts

Warts are small, usually local growths on the skin that are most of the time harmless. They are usually caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), hence are contagious. The upcoming article provides in-depth information about the different types of warts known.
HealthHearty Staff
A viral infection causes warts that commonly occur on the skin. A virus from the HPV family is the culprit, which can spread by either coming in contact with a person infected by it or with a contaminated surface. A wart is a lump of skin that can practically occur on any part of the body. It is more commonly seen on the hands and feet but occurs on the genitals as well. There are more than sixty types of warts, and they are usually characterized by features, such as oozing, itching, and burning. Verruca vulgaris or common, plantar, genital, and flat warts are some of the various types of warts.

While warts usually go away without any treatment; however, they may persist for a long time, sometimes even years, if left untreated. Although warts are usually contagious, some people seem to be more susceptible to them. Also, genital warts are known to be more contagious than the other types.

Given below are some of the most common types of warts:

Common Wart
Also known as verruca vulgaris, this generally occurs on the hands, fingers, and knees. It is a raised wart with a surface that feels rough. It can occur at any age but is more commonly seen in children.

Flat Wart
As is evident by the name, this wart is distinguished by its flattened and smooth surface. A flat wart is usually light or dark in color, and mostly occurs on the knees, hands, neck, and face.

Plantar Wart
This wart occurs on the soles of the feet and is extremely painful. Occurring in variable sizes, this wart can be as small as a pinhead or as big as a quarter. On examining it closely, tiny red, brown, or black spots can be seen inside it, which are actually the blood vessels. Because the HPV virus causes it, removing it does not guarantee that it will not recur. Since the plantar wart is contagious, you can get infected merely by walking barefoot outside.

Genital Wart
This wart, as the name indicates, occurs in the genital area. Hence, it is also known as anogenital wart, venereal wart, or anal wart (if it occurs in the anal region). Since they can be transferred sexually, these warts are more serious. Like the plantar wart, the genital wart is also caused by the HPV. Since it can be spread by sexual contact, it is listed as a 'sexually transmitted disease', and it can also lead to cervical cancer in women.

Mosaic Wart
This wart grows on the soles of the feet too but can be differentiated from the plantar wart, as it grows in clusters. It can also occur on the hands.

Filiform Wart
This wart mainly occurs on the face, around the eyelids, and lips. It resembles a miniscule-sized finger.

Periungual Wart
This wart usually occurs under and around the toe and fingernails. Its texture is rough and irregular.

Difference Between Wart and Mole

A wart and a mole can look quite similar; however, these two skin abnormalities are very different. A wart is caused by a viral infection and can be spread from one person to another by direct contact. Moles are not known to be contagious. They are generally made up of a clump of skin pigment cells, called melanocytes. They often appear after prolonged exposure to sunlight and are believed to be genetic.

Since warts are usually spread by the HPV, one of the best ways to prevent them from occurring or coming back after they go away or are removed, is by strengthening the immune system. Always bear in mind that some warts can become cancerous, therefore, get them treated by your doctor at the earliest. Also, some skin cancers can look like warts. Therefore, the sooner a wart is treated, the better it is for you.

Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.