Warts and Common Skin Conditions
Warts are distinct growths which are caused by HPV, or the human papillomavirus. Warts are not a singular type of growth, as there are a series of different warts which can be caused by a variety of HPV strains.
What Causes Warts?
The cause behind warts is contact with HPV. HPV can easily spread from person to person through direct contact with an object used by someone who has HPV. Warts can be caused by contracting HPV from someone else; warts can also be caused by warts found elsewhere on the body.
Common Types of Warts
There are many different types of warts, however, the most common types of warts are as follows.
Genital warts: genital warts are warts that appear in the genital area, including the pubic area, on the genitals, and in or around the anus or vagina. Genital warts are typically small, have a “cauliflower” like appearance, and may appear in clusters. Genital warts are typically very itchy and can cause discomfort, bleeding and some pain.
Flat warts: Flat warts are most often found in children and teenagers, and they are typically found on the face or on the legs. Flat warts have an unusual smooth and flat appearance. They are typically much smaller than other types of warts.
Plantar warts: Plantar warts have a distinct flesh colored or light brown appearance which contains small black dots which are actually clotted blood vessels. Plantar warts are found on the feet.
Warts can sometimes disappear on their own without any necessary treatment, but if warts are reoccurring or the warts are genital warts, then a visit to the doctor is necessary.
If warts need to be treated, they can be treated through options such as cryotherapy, cantharidin, salicyclic acid, various medications or even surgery to remove the wart. Surgeries are typically considered to be the last resort, as they are most often used after other treatments do not work. Some people may need more than one type of treatment to fully rid themselves of their wart, especially if the wart is resistant to medications or more standard treatments.
It is possible to prevent warts, though there is no guarantee that you will be able to avoid developing them forever thanks in large part due to the increasing amount of people being diagnosed. However, all is not lost: you can do a lot to help prevent warts through very careful measures and plenty of safety precautions. Prevention tips for preventing warts before they happen include:
- Always use condoms during any sexual activity
- Avoid intercourse or sexual activity with anyone who has visible genital warts
- Practice monogamy to reduce your chances of contracting HPV
If you currently have warts, you can prevent them from spreading to other parts of your body by covering the warts with bandages and making sure that your hands are always dry to prevent spreading the virus through your hands.