Warts are one of the most common minor medical issues in the world, and although all are caused by the human papillomavirus, there are many different types of warts based on their placement and strain of virus causing the problem. Different types of warts have different incidence rates, ranging from 1% of the population for genital warts, to 7-10% for plantar warts. Knowing about the different strains of this viral disorder can assist greatly with deciding which treatment option to pursue.
Types of Common Warts
The term “common warts” refers to a limited number of viral strains, which cause warts, primarily on the limbs, hands, and feet. This group of warts has several subcategories, but these warts are usually small, rough to the touch, and their color may range from flesh colored, to white, to tan. Hemispherical warts on the knees, toes, and the backs of the fingers are the most well known, and are simply referred to as common warts. Plantar warts are found on the bottom of the foot, and often contain black dots, which are damaged blood vessels. So-called “flat” warts are smoother and generally smaller than other warts, and occur on the face and legs, but are often present in larger numbers than other types of common warts. Filiform warts occur on the face, often near the eye, and have an elongated, stalklike shape. Periungual warts form on or underneath nails in cauliflower-type configurations, where they may cause pain, unlike other types of common warts.
Other Strains of Warts
While common warts are contagious, they are not usually spread through direct contact. However, genital warts, another infamous strain of this virus, spreads via direct sexual contact. Genital warts are more commonly seen in women, where they are present as large groups of stalk-like warts in the genital area, but even men who do not show symptoms of these warts may still carry the papillomavirus responsible for causing them. Mosaic warts occur on the hands and feet, but unlike common warts, this strain of virus looks like a high concentration of plantar warts, and can be quite painful.
“Common warts – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – MayoClinic.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Aug. 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/common-warts/DS00370.
“Warts (Common Warts) Causes, Types, Removal and Treatment on MedicineNet.com.” MedicineNet – Health and Medical Information Produced by Doctors. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Aug. 2010. http://www.medicinenet.com/warts_common_warts/article.htm.