this section we will discuss three types of warts. Common warts,
plantar warts, and genital warts. Although these types of warts
are similar in many ways they also have distinct differences.
They should each be treated differently.
What is a wart?
A wart is a small bump on the skin caused
by a virus that infects the top layer of skin cells. This virus
is contracted and lies dormant in the body. Periodically the virus
will infect layers of the skin resulting in a wart. Removing the
wart does not remove the virus from the body but it does remove
the unsightly growth and can reduce the discomfort.
- Common warts
occur on the fingers, back of hands, arms, top of feet and other
areas of the body. They are usually free of pain. Common warts
occur in people of all ages.
- Plantar warts
occur on the bottom of the feet. They are spotted in appearance
due to blood vessels that have become clotted within the wart.
Plantar warts can be painful.
- Genital warts
are small flesh-colored or pink bumps that appear on the genitals
or anus. They are a common sexually transmitted disease. The
virus that causes genital warts is called human papillomavirus
(HPV). HPV is transmitted most often due to sexual contact. The
greatest risk associated with genital warts is cervical cancer.
It is also associated with an increased risk of anal-rectal and
penile cancer although these diseases are much rarer than cervical
- Common warts can
be treated with an over the counter treatment that contains salicylic
acid. These treatments come in a liquid
like compound-w and a pad such as these
pads by Dr. Scholls. The
liquids are convenient for all areas. The pads which are similar
to a band-aid are nice for fingers and toes. A doctor can also
remove a common wart using a number of simple surgical procedures.
- Plantar Warts: Can be treated with over the counter treatments
W. If the pain of having the wart is severe you might want
to speak to your doctor about having the wart removed.
- Genital Warts: If you suspect you have genital warts you
should consult your doctor. Do not try to self-treat this problem.
Women need to have some tests done to examine the cervix and
vagina for symptoms of even more serious problems. Genital warts
can be treated with some prescription medications. Your physician
can also remove genital warts with specific procedures. Women
with genital warts should consult with their physician at very
regular intervals. Men and women with genital warts should always
use a condom.