Warts are benign rough skin lesions that appear when a viral infection is developed in the skin. This skin infection which commonly occurs in kids than adults is caused by the viruses of the human papillomavirus (HPV). It can affect all the areas of the body but it inhibits mostly in warm, moist places like hands, feet and small cuts or scratches on the fingers. Most types of warts are painless that it can even be bumped and touched all the time in your feet and body but you will never be aware of its presence.
Normally, children can pick up HPV infection when touching things that a person with warts has used including the surface that has been touched. Kids who often bite their fingernails are more likely to pick up these viruses because biting can create open areas and less protected skin that allows the virus to enter and develop the infection. However, to develop a specific type of wart depends basically on the person’s immune system. The immune system of a person’s body reacts differently to the virus. For this reason, there are people who will never develop warts even if they have been in direct contact with the viruses.
Different Types of Warts
- Common warts or seed warts – these are the most common type of warts that affects almost all individuals. They are skin colored, rough domed shaped in the skin that usually grows around the nails, at the back of the hands and on the fingernails. Seed warts specifically grow in the skin surrounding the nails of the fingers. It is characterized by black dots which are caused by the surrounding blood vessel. Hand warts, periungual warts, plantar warts, common wart or seed warts may sound alike but each of them has its own characteristics and may be treated differently.
- Plantar warts – these warts sometimes can be very ugly and painful that grows in the sole of the foot occasionally on the toes. In the beginning, it appears like a black puncture marks. When it develops, the color normally changes to brown and would appear like a cauliflower. Plantar warts can create a black spot in the middle which is caused by bleeding and since it is pushed often by the weight of your body as you walk, normally it is painful.
- Periungual warts – these appear around the fingernails and toenails. It first grows the size of a pinhead, smooth and almost impossible to notice. But it will develop into a pea size, become rough irregular bumps which will cause the nails to elevate as the infection get worse. Mostly, severe cases will cause permanent nail deformation and other complications will lead to fungal infection as the wart grows inside the nail plate.
- Facial warts or filiform warts – are frond-like, long, and narrow flesh colored growths that can strike rapidly alone or as clusters on the face, neck, lips and around the eyelids. These are harmless, long, brush-like growths which are characterized by itching and bleeding in the areas around the neck, lips and eyelids. However, these are painless but they can be irritable if they tend to grow on the area where the skin is often rubbed. A person who has filiform warts may notice its presence as they spread in the other areas of the face.
- Flat warts – are also known as juvenile warts which are common among children and young adults. They are small flat growths which about the size of a pinhead and may grow in hundreds clustered in one specific location. They appear to have the same color of the skin which can be pink, light brown or yellow and are smoother than any other types of warts. This is commonly located in the areas of the face and forehead, but these can also occur in the arms, necks and hands. It may sometimes takes a year for a flat wart to grow to a visible size, so normally an individual having the wart will never be aware of the infection.
- Genital warts – these can be flesh colored, gray or white growths occurring around the genital areas of a person. The wart that occurs in the areas of woman’s genital area is called vaginal warts. Some of these can form in multiples resembling like a cauliflower. Genital warts can sometimes appear very tiny that they are difficult to see. Others maybe larger tender and have a burning sensation. For women, these grow in the vagina and can be hidden in the cervix. In men, they grow near the anus and on the penis.
Causes of Warts
The main cause of the occurrence of warts in the skin is the infection attributed by HPV. Like any other type of virus, HPV infection can be spread either through direct or indirect contact with a person infected. However, the risk of contacting warts from other person is very low and not all who come in contact with the virus will have warts. It sometimes takes about 2-6 months for the infection to develop. Common warts or seed warts, hand warts and peringual warts usually strikes to people who have the habit of biting and tearing up their finger nails or picking at hangnails. Once the skin is bruised and the surface is open, the virus can easily enter and developed. Facial warts or filiform warts are caused by the development of HPV on the warm moist skin epidermis causing the outer layer of the skin to elevate forming a wart. Flat warts occur when the virus will find its way to enter into your skin through cuts, abrasions and other skin breaks in your feet. Genital warts are developed through a sexual intercourse with an infected person.
How to Treat Warts
Warts can be spread from one person to another, so for anyone who is infected proper precaution must take into account to avoid spreading the virus to the people around you. Different types of warts each have its own ways of treatment. Those found in the face and genital areas must not be treated with any home wart removal kit. If you want to get rid of warts that are stubborn and do not respond to any wart treatments, you can consult a doctor. A wart normally heals by itself, but it can take months and years for it to completely disappear.
- Over the counter wart remover. The most commonly used treatment for warts that appears on the fingers, hands and feet are over the counter wart removal salicylic acid and freezing methods using dimethyl ether. Salicylic acid removal can be in the form of a gel, liquid solution or a convenient invisible removal strip which is placed in the warts. This type of wart removal requires daily application. Dimethyl ether usually comes in a canister that uses a single tips for the directing the freezing liquid into the warts.
- Home remedies. Using a duct tape to remove warts is one of the simplest and most effective wart removal home remedies. These are use to cover the wart completely leaving it for about six days. When the tape is removed, the affected area must be soaked in warm water and then scrubbed with emery board or pumice stone. This is a painless wart removal and with six months repeated procedure, warts will completely disappear.
- Natural wart removal. The most widely used inexpensive natural wart removal products for common and flat warts are apple-cider vinegar and lemon/lime juice. The wart is soaked with apple-cider vinegar and its acidic properties help peels the skin off and remove the ugly warts. Lemon/lime juice is a highly acidic natural wart remover which can be applied on the wart for weeks until it fades away.
- Wart laser surgery. This is a wart removal surgery which is commonly used for plantar and genital warts that uses laser to remove warts. The procedure to be done by a doctor for the warts removal in such areas is normally expensive. Some people who have undergone removal of warts through surgical operation have been known to have longer periods of recovery time. However, laser surgery is a quick wart removal that leaves a little to no scarring after the operation.
There are wide varieties of wart removal remedies that you can choose from. But if you don’t know the most effective wart remover products to heal warts and yet you don’t know what kind of warts infects you, a doctor’s visit is best for you. The doctor would be able to tell you how to remove wart in the most convenient, safe and affordable way. You will be aware what would be the best wart removal system that should be used to treat your warts. In children, the doctors are more likely observe if the warts will go away over time since most of the medication can be painful for them. Stubborn warts normally require repeated treatments and several visits to a doctor.