What Are Warts?

What is a wart?
By Dr. Peter Klapper Ph.D.

A wart is a virus classified within the Human Papilloma Viruses (HPVs), which represent a group of more than 100 types of wart viruses. Warts are called papillomaviruses because certain types of warts, or papilloma, which are benign (noncancerous) tumors. Warts can grow on all parts of your body. A wart can grow on your skin, mouth, genitals, and rectal area. Some types of HPV tend to cause warts on the skin, while other HPV types tend to cause warts on the genitals and rectal area.

Warts appear as single bumps or in clusters, most warts have a cauliflower structure. Of the more than 100 types of warts, there are more than 30 types of warts that have the ability to infect the genital tract. These genital warts can be passed from one person to another through sexual intercourse.

Types of Warts

Common warts
These warts usually grow on the backs of the hands and on the fingers. Common warts often occur where skin has been broken, where fingernails are bitten. Common warts are also called "seed" warts due to the blood vessels around the wart producing black dots that look like seeds.

Plantar warts
These warts occur on the soles (plantar area) of the feet and are also called plantar warts. Plantar warts, or foot warts, can be very painful, often creating a sensation of a pebble being in your shoe. When these plantar warts are seen in clusters, they are known as mosaic warts. Due to the pressure of walking, most plantar warts are not found above the surface of the skin, but rather under the skin. Similar to common warts, these plantar warts may have black dots.

Flat warts
Flat warts differ from other warts in that they tend to grow in large quantities, up to 100 at any one time. Flat warts are smoother and flatter than other warts. Flat warts can occur anywhere on the body. Flat warts are usually found on the face on children. In female adults, flat warts are often found on the legs. It is believed that these flat warts on the legs occur as a result from an irritation to shaving.

Genital warts
Genital warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Genital warts are amongst a group of viruses that now includes more than 100 different types of warts, and the number of strains continues to grow. An estimated 40 million Americans are infected with genital warts, with 1 million new cases of genital warts diagnosed each year. Of the 100 identified strains of HPV, more than 30 types can infect the genital tract, and therefore termed genital warts. Genital warts are often transmitted from one person to another through sexual intercourse and are highly contagious. Genital warts are often transmitted from one person to another through sexual intercourse and are highly contagious.

Treating Warts
In the past, and even in the present, warts have been treated locally with acid or a chemical solution. In some cases, warts are even treated by cauterization (burning the warts) by dermatologists. All such measures to treat warts, it has been observed, are often temporary; and the warts reappear. Warts are passed from person to person, often indirectly. Warts on the skin may be passed to another person when that person touches the wart. It usually takes several months for a wart to appear if transmission occurs. It is also possible to get warts from using towels or other objects that were used by a person who has warts. However, the risk of transmitting foot, hand, or flat warts to another person is small. There are natural remedies for warts. To treat warts that are already visible we suggest using our Wart Control Extra Strength treatment.

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