Warts Types Common

Like all other types of warts, common warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Scientists have identified the following types of HPV as the strains that cause common skin warts:

  • HPV 1
  • HPV 2
  • HPV 4
  • HPV 27
  • HPV 29.

A common wart is usually found on the hands and fingers, as well as the knees, elbows and other areas that are likely to be scraped or injured. Cuts and scrapes make it easier for the HPV virus to get past your body’s defenses.

The virus causes the cells in the outer layer of your skin to grow very quickly, resulting in the development of seed warts. Common warts are not cancerous and they’re usually painless, although they may be unsightly.

Common warts are sometimes called “seed warts,” because they often contain a tiny black dot that looks like a seed. These dots are actually tiny blood clots.

Recognizing the Common Wart

Common skin warts are rough, grainy bumps. Seed warts can grow individually or in groups, and are any of the following colors:

  • Flesh
  • Gray
  • Pink
  • Tan
  • White.

These common warts range in size from two to ten millimeters, and they can bleed if you cut or pick them.

Who Gets Common Warts?

Although experts estimate that about 10 percent of the world’s population has seed warts, they are most common in 12 to 16 year-olds, according to Skinsight.com; 20 percent of schoolchildren are estimated to have warts. Seed warts are also more frequent among people with suppressed immune systems.

How Do Common Skin Warts Spread?

Person to person contact spreads the HPV virus. Small breaks in the skin allow the virus to enter your system, resulting in the growth of a common wart. Handling an object an infected person used, such as a damp towel, sometimes spreads common warts. You can also spread them around your own body.

Seed Wart Removal

Common skin warts will often go away on their own, but this can take anywhere from a few months to two to four years. Depending on where your common wart is located, how many you have and how long you’ve had them, you can use a number of at-home seed wart removal techniques, including:

  • Duct tape is often effective for see wart removal. Covering a common wart with duct tape can be quite effective, although the medical community isn’t sure why.
  • Over-the-counterwart removers containing salicylic acid can be very effective at removing common warts.

For stubborn or more serious cases of seed warts, your doctor may attempt seed wart removal with lasers, cryosurgery (with liquid nitrogen) or a combination of techniques.

Resources

Berman, K. (2009). Warts. Retrieved April 25, 2010, from: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000885.htm.

Dinulos, J. (2008). Warts. Retrieved April 25, 2010, from: http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec10/ch122/ch122c.html.

Mayo Clinic. (2010). Common warts. Retrieved April 25, 2010, from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/common-warts/DS00370.

Skinsight. (2008). Common wart information for adults. Retrieved April 25, 2010, from: http://www.skinsight.com/adult/commonWart.htm.