Kinds of warts

Warts are common contagious growths on the skin. They are caused by at least 35 types of human papilloma virus, or HPV, and appear most frequently in older children and are least common in the aged. Warts are usually symptomless and often disappear spontaneously.

Common warts are the most prevalent and usually appear in areas that are subject to trauma, such as fingers, elbows, knees, face and scalp. They have a rough surface, are round or irregular in shape, can be light gray, yellow, brown or grayish-black and are an eighth of an inch to half and inch in diameter.

Plantar warts are foung on the sole of the foot and are flattened by pressure and surrounded by thickened skin. they may be very tender and are distinguished from corns and calluses by their tendency to bleed when the surface is cut away.

Filiform warts are long, narrow, small growths usually seen on the eyelids, face, neck or lips. They occur most often in middle-age people and those who are overweight.

Flat warts are smooth, flat, yellow-brown growths, most often seen on the face, wrists and backs of hands.

Genital warts are pinkish and shaped like cauliflower. They appear in or on the genitals of women and men. Most are painless.


Text and illustrations by Kevin T. Boyd