What Are Warts?
Warts are common, noncancerous skin growths that occur more often in children than adults. Warts can spread to other parts of the body and to other people. There are many different types of warts because of the many different papillomavirus types (more than 100). Warts aren't painful except when located on the feet. Most warts go away without treatment over time.
What Causes Warts?
The human papillomavirus causes warts, and people can contract the virus by direct (touching others' warts or spreading your own) or indirect contact.
Signs and Symptoms of Warts
The most common types of warts along with their symptoms include:
- Common warts: Growths around nails and the back of hands; usually have a rough surface; grayish-yellow or brown in color
- Hand and foot warts: Located on the soles of feet (plantar warts) or the palms of the hand (palmar warts) with black dots (clotted blood vessels that once fed them); clusters of plantar warts are called mosaic; can be painful
- Flat warts: Small, smooth growths that grow in groups up to 100 at a time; most often appear on children's faces
- Genital warts: Grow on the genitals and are occasionally sexually transmitted; are soft and don't have a rough surface like other common warts
- Filiform warts: Small, long, narrow growths that usually appear on eyelids, face, or neck
Treatment for Warts
Treatments for warts depend on the location, size, and how bothersome they are to the patient. Warts often disappear without treatment. For those that do require treatment, our specialists at UCLA Dermatology recommend:
- Prescription topical (skin-based) creams
- Cryosurgery: freezing with liquid nitrogen
- Excision: shaving off the wart
- Electrosurgery: destroying the wart with an electrical current
- Laser surgery
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (310) 825-6911.