Different Types of Warts and How to Remove Them

There are about six different types of warts, which are categorized by shape and body location.

  1. The common wart: These warts are rough and firm to the touch. A circular or dome shape is typical. And they’re usually not very large—about a half inch in diameter on average.

    The word “cauliflower” often comes to mind when describing the surface area of these warts. While colors can vary by individual, most tend to be a grayish, brown. But lighter yellows or flesh-colored is often seen as well.

    Another characteristic of the common wart is tiny dotted specs. These dark spots are actually clotted blood vessels.

    Common warts typically grow on your hands, elbows and knees. But due to the nature of HPV (the virus that causes warts) they can spread to any region of your body, especially the skin area near an existing wart.

  2. Plantar warts – a.k.a. warts on feet: These warts can grow anywhere on the foot, but the soles of the feet are most common. As you can imagine, this makes them one of the only painful wart types, given the constant pressure of walking on them.

    The pressure of walking also shapes their appearance. They tend to be flattened, but hard. Like with the common wart, the dark spots that often appear in the center are blood vessels.

  3. Flat warts: These warts are most common amongst children. Adults can get them, but it’s rare.

    There are several unique characteristics of flat warts. The first is that they tend to grow in clusters, sometimes in the dozens. Like other warts, any part of your body is fair game, but your face and extremities are the most likely targets.

    Another unique characteristic is their size. They’re usually quite small—around the size of pencil tip. And as the name suggests, they tend to be flat and smooth.

    Finally, flat warts are usually lighter in color than other warts. Light yellow-brown and even pink is how they’re often described.

  4. Filiform warts: These warts are long, narrow, cone-shaped warts that usually grow on your neck, eyelids, and lips. These warts tend to be fleshy in color.
  5. Periungual warts: These warts grow exclusively in the nail region of your fingers and toes, sometimes even underneath the nail itself. They’re rough, irregular shaped warts that quickly become problematic because they can affect the growth of your nails. In extreme cases, they can uproot the nail altogether.
  6. Genital warts: These warts are extremely contagious and are spread through sexual contact. They grow exclusively near and around the sex organs, though they’re similar in appearance to other warts.

What Are Some Wart Treatment Options?

For starters, it’s important to note that there’s no “cure” for warts. This means when you remove a wart, the virus that caused it remains, so new warts can develop on your skin later on.

Having said that, you basically have two choices when it comes to wart removal. The first choice is to see your doctor. Common practices used by dermatologists include prescription medication; surgery (laser, electro or incision); and cryotherapy (freezing).

The other choice is to treat the wart at home yourself. This applies to all the different types of warts, except genital. Common home remedies include over the counter medications; duct tape; as well as vitamins and herbs.

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