Warts can develop on any part of the body. They are caused by viruses and affect the rate at which the skin is formed over the infected area. Some warts are harmless and disappear on their own while others may require treatment in the form of freezing or creams in order to be completely removed. Knowing what causes warts minimizes the likelihood of contracting the virus.
What causes warts?
Warts are typically caused by viruses. HPV is the human papillomavirus that leads to warts. There are over 100 different types of strains for this virus. These viruses causes keratin to quickly form over an infected area and cause elevations and puffiness to the skin. Warts are passed from one person to another through skin contact. Sharing personal items like towels or shoes can quickly lead to the spread of the condition. Intimacy with an infected person can also lead to warts.
What are the different types of warts?
There are four main types of warts. Verrucas are warts that are formed on the feet. Common warts develop on the hands and legs. They usually are cauliflower in shape and develop on the knuckles, fingers or knees. Plane warts are most commonly found in children. They tend to be flat and firm. Filiform warts appear in the armpits, neck and eyelids. The final type is mosaic. Mosaic warts tend to form clusters or groups in the infected areas.
What can people do to prevent warts?
There are a number of things a person can do to minimize the risks of developing warts. First, the person should avoid touching another person’s warts. When using communal showers, a person should always wear sandals. Being careful as to avoid sharing towels and clothing with others who have warts is recommended.
What puts people at risk for developing warts?
People are unaware of how warts can spread to different parts of the body. Warts can be spread through shaving, sucking fingers, irritating or scratching the warts or biting fingernails. A person with damaged skin is more at risk of spreading the infection to other parts of the body. A hangnail or scrape can make the skin extremely delicate and vulnerable to developing the condition.
How can you tell the difference between a wart or mole?
Moles and warts both cause the skin to become slightly elevated in a certain area of the person’s skin. Moles are typically the same color as the surrounding skin. Moles can become extremely large in size while the wart is usually much smaller.
How do you know if medical attention is needed?
If the warts fail to disappear completely on their own, medical attention may be needed. Many people find that the warts disappear on their own in several months’ time. Warts can take several years to completely disappear on their own. It isn’t uncommon for the warts to reappear after being removed or treated.
What is the process of removing warts?
Some people can have the warts surgically removed through cryotherapy where the warts are frozen. In many cases, a medicated cream is prescribed. The creams usually contain a salicylic acid that destroys the wart. If the warts aren’t on the face, the person can use duct tape to remove the wart. The wart is covered for several days with duct tape. It is then soaked in warm water and gently filed away.
Warts can affect any part of the body. It takes very little for the person to spread or contract the virus from another person. The location of the wart and the strain of the virus that caused the wart determines the course of treatment.