When you get a wart, you might wonder how it got there. Are you just a dirty person? Is it from a fungus? Did I touch someone with a wart? The truth is that warts come from a virus called Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV. Millions of people are infected with HPV every year and have to deal with the warts it causes. Some scientists say your body can kill HPV before it causes warts, while some discredit this statement. Something you might notice is there are different types of warts. They come in various sizes, shapes, and color, and each is often specific to a certain location on the body. Let’s learn about what’s involved with different wart types.
All The Different Types Of Warts
Something interesting about HPV is that it comes in over a hundred different strains. A strain is like another version of the same virus, and groups of them will give you a different wart than other groups. For example, the strain that causes genital warts is completely different than the strain that gives you plantar warts on your feet.
Think you might have HPV? Go here for more details on HPV warts.
What kind is it?
Every type of wart will be at least a little different than the others.
Some of the types include:
- Red wart: While warts usually show up as flesh-colored or pinkish, it’s possible to be colored red. This has to do with pigmentation of the skin cells. If your wart is red and accompanied by pain or bleeding, it should be checked out by a doctor.
Black warts can sometimes be mistaken for skin cancer, and are often called seborrheic warts. More details on seborrheic warts can be found by clicking here. To learn more about a black wart, go here.
Children can sometimes be more prone to warts. Learn more about warts on kids here.
- Small wart: The size of warts will vary on everyone. Sometimes they are so small you don’t even notice them, as can often be the case in genital warts. When dealing with a small wart, it may be harder to tell what you’re dealing with, since they’ll be more difficult to spot.
- Large wart: Warts will often grow to a specific size, then stop growing completely and just stay how they are. But there are times when an untreated wart can keep getting bigger and bigger until out of control. If your wart is larger than an eraser head, having a medical professional take a look at it is advisable.
- Smooth wart: The surface of warts will also vary. Genital warts will have a rough surface resembling a cauliflower, while common warts and flat warts will have more of a smooth top to them.
Warts in your mouth can be especially disturbing and uncomfortable. Click here for more details on oral warts.
How To Identify
How are you going to know which type you have?
Take a look at this guide:
- Filiform warts: These grow predominantly on your face. They have long fingerlike projections coming out from it and stick out from the face more than some other warts. It may be more common to see filiform warts near your eye, nose, or lips.
Genital warts are the kind you want to get treated if at all possible. Genital skin is extremely sensitive with delicate nerve endings that are easy to damage. Warts can grow into structures like the urethra and anus, which can cause an obstruction and be problematic. Also, genital warts are responsible for the majority of cervical cancer, and a large portion of penile and anal cancer.
- Common warts: Common warts can really be found anywhere, but you’ll probably see them most often on places like your hand, fingers, and tops of your feet. They’ll be circular and have distinct edges, with a smooth top.
The common wart is the kind people usually picture when thinking of a wart. Learn more about common warts here.
Is what you’re dealing with just a blister? To learn the differences between a wart or blister, go here.
- Genital warts: Just like the name says, genital warts will only be found on or inside the genitals. The one exception to this is oral warts, which can be transmitted from the genitals to the mouth through having oral sex with someone who is infected with genital warts. These are highly contagious and are spread primarily through skin-on-skin sexual contact.
Genital warts is one of the most contagious sexually transmitted infections. More information on genital warts can be found by clicking here.
Water warts aren’t actually warts, but something else entirely. Click here for more details about water warts.
- Flat warts: These are found mostly on the legs, arms, or face and appear in groupings. Appearance-wise, they are most often flesh-colored and more of an oval shape. Flat warts are easily spread to new areas through shaving.
Flat warts can sometimes look like they’re being stretched across your skin. Go here for more details on flat warts.
- Subungual warts: Warts like these are found underneath or right at the toenail or fingernail. They have a cauliflower-like surface to them and will need to be removed, as their growth can cause pain, damage your nailbed and kill the nail itself.
- Mosaic warts: This refers to a large grouping of warts.
Warts sometimes have black dots in them that people call “wart seeds.” To learn more about seed wart, click here.
Warts On Your Feet
It’s no wonder it’s easy to get a wart on your foot – we often walk right over areas full of HPV. Places like a locker room, shower, or pool deck are perfect places for the virus to live and we often pick it up right through our feet.
Plantar warts: You get a plantar wart when a wart appears on the underside of your foot or toe. The pressure from walking pushes down on the wart, pushing it back inside your skin and flattening it out. This makes plantar warts larger than they might be otherwise and flush against the skin. Many of them will have black dots in the middle of them, sometimes called “wart seeds, ” which are really just tiny dried up blood vessels. The skin around a plantar wart will probably be more calloused simply from all the pressure of walking.
Plantar warts can sometimes be irritating due to the pressure of walking. More more details on plantar warts can be found here.Information
Contrary to some people’s belief, the black dots you see in a plantar wart won’t grow new warts from them. They’re simply dried up vessels from the wart’s blood supply. Also, there is no root at the base of the wart growing down to the bone. A wart sits in the skin’s epidermis, which is the upper layers.
- White warts: Warts come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors, one of which is white. Plantar warts may appear white because of all the calloused skin around and even over it, so it may look like a large white circle on the bottom of your foot.
Never ignore signs of an infection like bleeding, redness, or pain. Additional information on infected warts can be found here.
Cancer is no joke. And sometimes warts can turn into just that. To learn more about a cancerous wart, go here.
Warts don’t come in one type and size; in fact, there’s probably more than most people even realize. And while the odds are in your favor that you’ll get at least one wart in your life, the good news is that they’re perfectly treatable and don’t need to stay on your skin for long.