Generally, warts are small, skin-colored, raised bumps appearing on the outermost layer of the skin and are rough to the touch.
More Info: though the common wart is often easy to detect, not all warts display the same physical characteristics. Warts can be light or dark, can be raised or flat, and can even itch or hurt.
What Causes Warts?
Warts are caused by a virus called the human papillomavirus, or HPV. As a symptom of virus, warts are contagious and can be passed from person to person through skin lesions such as a hangnail. Though warts do respond to treatment, they often recur and often disappear on their own over time.
Types of Warts
There are several types of warts each displaying a variety of different visual characteristics.
Common Warts: Most often appearing on the hands, common warts are generally painless and appear as small, raised lesions feeling rough to the touch.
Plantar Warts: Found on the soles of the feet, plantar warts are often flat due to the pressure exerted while walking on them. Pushed below the skin surface, these warts are often extremely painful due to constant friction.
Flat Warts: Most often appearing on the face and forehead, as the name denotes are flatter in appearance than common warts and tend to grow in large numbers.
Subungual/Periungual Warts: Warts appearing under and around the fingernail.
Genital Warts: Found in the skin and mucous membranes of the genitals, these warts are soft, wart-like growths. Like all warts, genital warts are caused by a virus and are contagious through sexual contact. Genital warts are categorized as a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
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“Warts.” American Academy of Dermatology. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Mar. 2011. http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/common_warts.html.
“Warts: MedlinePlus.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Mar. 2011. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/warts.html.
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