Learning about warts

Warts are very common in childhood and are generally not serious. They are a skin condition caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV, and are normally disfiguring, but not painful. There are several different types of warts and most can be treated without reoccurrence. Many children experience warts, and many end up being completely cured of the condition.


What causes warts?

A wart is generally a small, rough growth on the skin. It can be found nearly anywhere, but normally, warts appear on the hands and feet. There are as many as 10 varieties of warts, and they can all be caused by different things. There are over 130 types of HPV, and they can all cause different forms of warts all over the body. Gardasil is a vaccination given to children to ward off genital warts and other strains of HPV that may cause cervical cancer and other diseases, but generally this vaccine will not stop generalized warts from growing on the hands, feet and face.

Types of warts

There are several different types of warts. They may include flat warts, which are the most common type: these types of warts are smooth and flattened, and occur on the face, hands, wrists and feet; plantar warts, which occur on the toes or feet and can be painful, as they are often walked on and experience a lot of pressure, and palmer warts, which are plantar warts that occur on the hands.

How to remove warts

Normally, some warts will go away entirely on their own, but will reoccur weeks or sometimes months later. To get rid of warts, a doctor will generally burn them off using nitrogen or a laser. Over the counter wart removal liquid devices are also available to remove warts from the hands and feet; however, warts on the face or genitalia must be seen by the doctor. There are many old wives' tales to remove warts, such as placing a frog against the affected area, but these generally do not work and are not advised when it comes to getting rid of the wart.