Warts can appear on any part of the human body. They can affect any person regardless of age, sex or race. Most warts are not harmful and are only removed for cosmetic purposes. Determining the type of warts you have and where they appear on your body, whether or not they are causing you discomfort physically or emotionally will enable you to make an informed choice whether you should have them removed.
Types of Harmless Warts
There are many types of warts and they are categorized depending on their shape, size, and color and where they appear on the body.
1. Common Warts- These appear on the hands, arms or legs. They are slightly elevated and the surface is usually somewhat rough. They will typically disappear in time with no treatment at all.
2. Flat Warts- Usually small in size and are not elevated. They occur commonly on the neck, face, arms, hands and legs. They commonly occur in groupings and are the color of raw flesh, varying slightly from the color of your own skin.
3. Plantar Warts- This type of wart is most common on the feet. It may be a single wart but is most commonly a grouping that may appear as a single wart. When closely examined you will see a black speck beneath the skin which is the core of the wart. They are hard resembling a callus and can become very painful.
4. Filiform Warts- These are warts that can occur anywhere on the body but are most common on the face usually near the lips or eyelids. They can be referred to as a “skin tag” as they grow outwards thinly in diameter and longer in length than other types of warts.
5. Periungual Warts- Occurring around the finger nails and the toenails these warts have a rough texture and an irregular shape. The presence of this type of wart may interfere with the growth of the finger and toenails.
The Harmful Warts – Genital Warts
Although most types of warts are benign and do not cause any harm to the bearer or those they come into contact with there is one common type of wart that can be harmful. Genital warts are a form of sexually transmitted disease and are caused by the virus HPV (human papillomavirus). This can be spread through sexual contact and about two-thirds of people who have such contact with a person having genital warts will contract it. Symptoms can appear as soon as 3 months or in some instances they may not appear for several years. These warts like other warts can be medically and surgically treated if they are causing discomfort, but having them removed does not remove the underlying cause which is the virus. Never use over the counter wart removal on genital warts.
Treatment Options for Wart Removal
Some types of warts may respond to over the counter wart removal systems. Unless you get the entire core of the wart and all of the root system they will return. The most effective wart removal option would be done by your physician or dermatologist through prescription medication or by physical removal of the warts. Eliminating the warts alone will not treat the virus that caused the warts to begin with and your physician can offer solutions to prevent future outbreaks as well. Genital warts may not be treated with over the counter wart removals and plantar warts contain a deep core which needs to be removed by your doctor.