Warts are small skin growths that are caused by a highly contagious human papilloma virus, or HPV. This virus is very common, it can be found anywhere around us, which means that we are almost in daily contact with it. If you have normal hygiene habits and healthy immune system you will be safe from contracting warts even if you do come in contact with the virus. If, on the other hand, you happen to contract a wart, it is a clear sign that your immune system has grown weak either due to some illness, because of too much stress or too many unhealthy lifestyle habits.
The most common warts are those that appear on hands and fingers.
Common warts appear on hands as round skin-colour growths with hard top surface. They have dark spots inside which are in fact blood vessels that feed blood to the skin cells forming the wart.
Periungual warts are very similar to common warts but they grow around nails, on fingers and toes. They have rough surface and are either slightly darker or slightly lighter than the surrounding healthy skin. They can be painful to touch and are very difficult to eradicate.
Another type of warts that can cause a lot of emotional suffering is warts that appear on face and neck.
Flat warts usually appear on face but they can sometimes appear on the body as well. They are round or oval in shape, skin-colour or brown and smooth to touch. Sometimes there is hair growing out of them. They can easily spread if scratched or cut while shaving.
Filiform warts grow outward from the skin in the stalk-like form. They are skin colour and may have rough top. They are also known as skin tags. They can grow alone or together in the form of a small cauliflower. They usually appear on the neck and around eyes.
Maybe the most painful are the warts growing on the soles of your feet. They have to sustain the weight of your entire body pressing down on them so sometimes they can hurt so much that you will not be able to walk without a limp.
These warts are called plantar warts because the sole area of a foot is called 'plantar area'. Plantar warts are usually round and lighter in colour than the healthy skin around them. If you press a plantar wart you will be able to see light area inside your foot which is actually the internal part of the wart.
The most dangerous are genital warts because if left untreated, they can cause cervical cancer.
Genital warts grow in the form of tiny skin-coloured bumps. They can also develop tiny stalks and grow together and become rough to touch. They appear in the genital areas, on and around penis, vagina and anus. Sometimes they spread inside the vagina or anus which makes them difficult to discover. They spread through sexual contact and are highly contagious. If you are suspecting you have genital warts, consult your doctor and start the treatment as soon as possible, before they spread and cause you even more trouble. Do not try to treat them at home using OTC or home remedies without consulting your doctor.
Warts always start as a small spot and then develop into a big wart or even spread to form a cluster of warts. Most of them will appear and disappear by themselves but since they are very contagious it is always advisable to treat them as soon as you notice them. With so many different warts treatments available, there is really no reason for you to host these unsightly growths for months or even years.