Common warts

Warts are outgrowths on the skin that come in different shapes, sizes and textures. They are caused by infection of the top layers of the skin by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Warts are generally harmless and can appear on literally any part of the body ranging from the face to the base of the feet.

When broken skin comes in contact with the virus, it can lead to rapid growth of the skin in that area creating a raised growth that may look like a cauliflower and feel rough to the touch. However do note that there are different types of warts with some appearing as long thin skin outgrowths that may be skin colored or slightly darker than the skin color. In some cases, the warts can be very itchy and bleed if irritated. Whichever type of wart it is, they do look embarrassing and most people struggle to get rid of them.

There are more than 150 different types of the HPV virus, some of which can even be transmitted sexually (genital warts). A majority are spread via casual contact such as shaking hands and using infected keyboards and doorknobs or by using shared materials like towels. Usually the warts take a few months after contact before appearing. However, not everyone who comes in contact with the virus develops warts. In some cases, these viral manifestations can even go away on their own after a couple of years or so.

Some strains of the virus cause genital warts while others cause plantar warts (on the soles of the feet), pigmented warts, palmer warts (on the hands) and plane warts. Filiform warts are long and thin and most commonly seen in armpits, neck and even the eyelids. The plane warts are flat, round and smooth and occur in clusters of 20-100 in parts of the body that are exposed to the sun.

Treatment of these warts shouldn’t be delayed since most warts can spread and multiply. Many types of warts can even spread over the whole body too. There are a number of medicated band-aids, gels and lotions available over-the-counter for wart removal. These are usually effective when applied on newly-formed warts at the initial stage.

For those who are facing difficulties – whether emotional or physical with these warts, it’s best to see a dermatologist as they can provide different forms of effective treatments. These can include cryotherapy or laser burning with no scarring. The Dr Dixit Cosmetic Dermatology Clinic in Bangalore offers highly effective acne treatments delivered by one of the best dermatologists in the city.

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The information provided in Dr. Dixit's answer is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice. The information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with a qualified health professional who may be familiar with your individual medical needs.