The short answer is, warts are a common viral infection in the skin – human papillomavirus. The long answer, warts are noncancerous skin growths that are more common in children than adults. However, nearly everyone will get a wart at some point in his/her life. Lay your stress and potential social awkwardness aside, because they frequently go away on their own or you can elect for proactive treatments.
Treatments for Warts
- Topical acid patches
- Freezing with liquid nitrogen
- Electrodesiccation (destroying wart with electrical current)
- Laser surgery
- Manual removal with medical equipment
Warts frequently take several treatments and sometimes regrow because the virus will stay in the skin. Interestingly, about a third of warts will go away by mear suggestion, including hypnosis or other placebo techniques. Let’s give this one a shot, it can’t hurt, right? Ok, answer this question to yourself – Do you want that wart? (Hopefully the suggestion of ‘no’ will kick off its regression)
Common Types of Warts
- Common Warts: Usually found around the nail and back of your hands and they usually have a rough surface; grayish-yellow or brown in color.
- Hand and Foot Warts: These are usually found around the soles of feet (plantar warts) or the palms of your hands (palmar warts) with black dots.
- Flat Warts: These are usually small, smooth growths that can be found in groups of up to 100 at a time; most often appear on a child’s face.
- Genital Warts: These warts grow on the genitals and with adults, are sexually transmitted. They’re soft and don’t have a rough surface like common warts.
- Filiform Warts: These small, long, narrow growths usually appear on the eyelids, face, or neck.
Like a virus those pesky warts can be passed from person to person and can even be picked up from environmental surfaces. Warts are benign, but can grow large and multiply and because of this they should be treated – the overall cure rate is 60-70%, not too bad. Moral of the story, don’t be embarrassed, call your provider and get treated or rapid removal and hopefully a first and last wart.