Key Wart Topics

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Wart: Definition

Speaking of key wart topics, let’s start at the top with the definition of a wart from Merriam Webster’s Dictionary:

1     a a horny projection on the skin usually of the extremities produced by proliferation of
the skin papillae and caused by any of numerous human  papillomaviruses  called alsoverruca vulgaris
b any of numerous similar skin lesions not caused by viruses
2     an excrescence or protuberance resembling a true wart; especially: a glandular excrescence or hardened protuberance on a plant
3     a one that suggests a wart especially in smallness, unpleasantness, or unattractiveness
b defect, imperfection often used in the phrase warts and all

Warts: Overview, Background and Facts

genital warts wart removal treatment

Common Warts

  • Most people seek wart removal once they are discovered. Warts are small, raised benign tumors caused by one of over 100 types of human papillomaviruses (HPV).
  • These annoying bumps have plagued humans for thousands of years as they have been found on 3,000-year-old mummies and mentioned throughout history.
  • Although warts generally aren’t dangerous, they are ugly, potentially embarrassing, and contagious. They can also be painful.
  • Types of warts include common warts, flat warts, plantar warts, periungual warts, filiform warts, and genital warts.
  • Warts typically disappear spontaneously, but it may take years.
  • Many wart removal home treatments exist, as well as medical treatments.

People at high risk of developing common warts

  • Children and young adults, who are in frequent contact with each other.
  • People with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or people who’ve had organ transplants.

Warts:  Frequently Asked Questions

What Causes Warts?

Common warts are caused by an infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV). More than 100 types of HPV exist, but only a few cause warts on your hands. Other types of HPV are more likely to cause warts on your feet and other areas of your skin and mucous membranes. Most types of HPV cause relatively harmless conditions such as common warts, while others may cause serious disease such as cancer of the cervix.

You can get warts from skin-to-skin contact with people who have warts. If you have warts, you can spread the virus to other places on your own body. You can also get the wart virus indirectly by touching something that another person’s wart touched, such as a towel or exercise equipment. The virus usually spreads through breaks in your skin, such as a hangnail or a scrape. Biting your nails also can cause warts to spread on your fingertips and around your nails.

Each person’s immune system responds to the HPV virus differently, so not everyone who comes in contact with HPV develops warts.

Can warts be prevented?

Warts generally do not hurt but are contagious and can spread easily. There are ways to prevent warts and keep them from spreading to other parts of your body if you already have one. Follow these simple guidelines:

  • Wash your hands regularly, especially if you’ve been in contact with someone who has warts.
  • Don’t pick at your warts.
  • Cover warts with a bandage.
  • Keep your hands and feet dry.
  • Wear shower shoes (flip-flops) when in a locker room or communal bathing facility.

When should I see a doctor?

You should see your doctor if:

  • You have warts on your face or other sensitive parts of your body (e.g., genitals, mouth, nostrils).
  • Bleeding or infection occurs, such as pus or scabbing, around a wart.
  • The wart is causing you pain or other hardship.
  • The color of the wart changes dramatically.
  • You have warts and diabetes or an immune deficiency, such as HIV/AIDS.

Be sure to bookmark this page and stay tuned for additional resources on warts, wart removal and easy wart removal techniques you can do at home!

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