Warts are the manifestation of a skin infection caused by a virus. This might make the otherwise benign growth sound scary, but the virus is not often dangerous. Human papilloma virus, also known as HPV, is very common. There are more than 130 types of HPV, and there are approximately 10 different types of warts that care caused by the virus.
The type of HPV that causes these warts invades the body, and the virus’s DNA penetrates the skin cells. The HPV then causes these cells to multiply, pushing them up toward the skin’s surface. Warts appear when cells grow rapidly on the outer layer of skin. This growth, the wart, then becomes a vehicle for HPV to shed, passing the virus to others.
Warts can appear on the skin in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. The surface of a wart can appear round, flat, rough or smooth. Some warts are the same color as your skin, while others may have black specks. They can grow anywhere on the body, though they are most commonly found on the feet, hands, face, legs, and genitalia.
Warts are contagious, which means they can spread to other areas of the body. They can also pass from person to person. Occasionally, warts can cause discomfort, especially when they are located on the bottom of the foot, but they are rarely itchy or painful.
Currently, there is no known cure or medication that kills the HPV virus directly. As a result, warts treatments work to treat the infected skin tissue while encouraging the body’s immune system to fight off the virus naturally. There is a wide variety of warts and strands of HPV, which means that wart treatments can vary. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common.
- Laser treatment
- Peeling medicine (salicylic acid)
- Minor surgery