What are Warts?
Warts are skin growths that can appear in different shapes, sizes, and textures on the skin’s surface. They can be rough and raised, depressed, or flat and smooth. Warts are separated into categories including:
- Common Warts – most often found on the hands and appear as rough, gray growths
- Plantar Warts – occur on the bottom of feet with a hard, thick appearance with dark specks
- Flat Warts – can be found on the face, legs, and other areas in large numbers
- Filiform Warts – develop as a single stalk, most often found on the face
Warts are usually painless unless they are in a sensitive area like the fingers or feet.
Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) that results in a rapid growth of skin cells. There are many different strains of HPV, resulting in different types of warts. Warts can be spread from person to person, or from one part of the body to another through direct or indirect contact. The virus is commonly picked up from locker rooms, public showers, pools, and other surfaces.
Warts will generally go away on their own, but a wart that is rapidly growing, painful, or aesthetically bothersome can be removed. Your dermatologist at Seattle Skin & Laser might recommend one of the following treatment options:
- Topical creams
- Cryotherapy (freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen)
- Laser surgery to destroy the wart tissue
The best treatment option for your case will depend on the size and location of the wart. Warts are often treated in one session, but there is a chance the wart could grow back, requiring a second treatment session or different treatment plan.