Warts Types

Warts are a common skin growth, affecting about 10 percent of the world’s population and up to 20 percent of school-age children, according to Skinsight.com.

All different wart types are caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV. The virus causes skin to grow faster than it would normally, resulting in warts. While most common warts are benign, some different wart types may require medical attention.

Common Warts, Genital Warts and More

A number of different wart types exist, including:

  • Common or seed warts: Common warts are round, raised growths on the hands and feet. Common warts are most common in young people and range in size from a pinhead to 10 millimeters.
  • Filiform warts: With their long, cylinder-shaped appearance, these warts have a distinct look. They usually grow on the neck, face, eyelids and lips. They’re benign and usually easy to treat.
  • Flat warts: These small smooth warts often grow in clusters of 20 to 100. Although they’re generally not painful, they can be unsightly and hard to treat.
  • Genital warts: Genital warts are one of the more common STDs. They can be white, gray or flesh-colored, or flat and hard to see. These warts may also resemble a cauliflower and may be found growing in clusters. Genital warts can be painless or cause tenderness and a burning, itchy sensation. Genital warts may increase your risk for cancer.
  • Oral warts: Oral warts are found in the mouth or on the lips. While they’re usually not painful, unless they’ve been irritated by food or chewing, they can be dangerous because they may lead to cancer. See a medical professional if you notice any unusual growths in your mouth.
  • Periungual warts: Periungual warts are found around the fingernails and toenails, and are most common among people who bite or pick at their nails. These warts start out as small as a pinhead but they can grow large enough to elevate the nail, which is very painful.
  • Plantar warts: Plantar warts are essentially common warts on the feet that grow inward rather than outward. Plantar warts can be quite painful—as if you’ve got a rock in your shoe you can’t get rid of—and slow to respond to treatment. If untreated, plantar warts can grow as large as one inch in circumference and develop into mosaic clusters.

Treatment for Warts

A number of treatment methods are available for different wart types, depending on where the wart is located and how tenacious it is. Some warts will simply go away on their own, after your body’s immune system asserts itself over the HPV virus.

Common warts can frequently be self-treated using over-the-counter preparations and even duct tape. Other warts may require more intensive treatment or even surgical removal. As with all medical concerns, it is best to see a medical professional to treat problematic warts.

Resources

American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. (2010). Warts. Retrieved April 24, 2010, from: http://www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologic_diseases/warts.html.

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

Oralwarts.net. (2009). Oral warts. Retrieved April 20, 2010, from: http://www.oralwarts.net/.

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

Warts Information Center. (2010). Types of warts. Retrieved April 19, 2010, from: http://www.warts.org/types-of-warts.html.