Most warts are raised with a rough surface. They may be round or oval.
The spot where the wart is may be lighter or darker than the other skin. Rarely, warts are black.
Some warts have smooth or flat surfaces.
Some warts may cause pain.
Different types of warts include:
Common warts – often appear on the hands, but can grow anywhere. Flat warts are generally found on the face and forehead. They are common in children. They are less common in teens, and rare in adults.
Genital warts(condyloma) – usually found on the genitals, in the pubic area, and in the area between the thighs. They can also appear inside the vagina and anal canal.
Plantar warts – found on the soles of the feet. They can be very painful. Many of them on the foot may cause problems walking or running.
Subungual and periungual warts – appear under and around the fingernails or toenails.
All warts can spread from one part of your body to another. Warts may be spread from person to person but this is uncommon.
You can get treatment if you do not like how the wart looks or if it is painful.
Do NOT attempt to remove a wart yourself by burning, cutting, tearing, picking, or any other method.
Over-the-counter medicines are available to remove warts.
Do NOT use over-the-counter wart medications on your face or genitals. Warts in these areas need to be treated by a health care provider.
To use wart-removal medicine:
File the wart with a nail file or emery board when your skin is damp (for example, after a shower or bath). This helps remove dead tissue. Do not use the same emery board on your nails.
Put the medicine on the wart every day for several weeks or months. Follow the instructions on the label.
Cover the wart with a bandage to prevent it from spreading.
Special foot cushions can help ease the pain due to plantar warts. You can buy these at drug stores without a prescription. Use socks. Wear shoes with plenty of room. Avoid high heels.
Your doctor or nurse may need to trim away thick skin or callus that form over warts on your foot or around nails.
Your health care provider may recommend the following treatments if your warts do not go away:
Stronger (prescription) medications, such as podophyllin or salicylic acid
A blistering solution
Freezing the wart (cryotherapy) to remove it
Burning the wart (electrocautery) to remove it
Laser treatment for difficult to remove warts
Immunotherapy, which gives you a shot of a substance that causes an allergic reaction and helps the wart go away
Skin medicine called imiquimod
Genital warts are treated in a different way than most other warts.
A new medicine called veregen may be used on genital warts as well as other warts.
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