Facts About Warts

The most common types of warts are caused by one of the many types of HPV (human papillomavirus). While over a hundred kinds of HPV have been identified, only a few of these cause warts to develop on the fingers and hands. Other types of this virus cause warts on the feet or mucous membranes, and while the majority of HPV related infections are basically benign, a few can cause severe diseases including cervical cancer.

Warts typically have these physical characteristics:

  • Color—Fleshy, pink, white or tan
  • Size—Small bumps containing black pinpoints. The black pinpoints are actually tiny clotted blood vessels. Larger warts that can appear on the bottom of the foot are known as plantar warts
  • Texture—Rough and grainy

Warts are spread by direct contact with the virus that causes them, either through contacting the warts of other people, or by touching contaminated items including lockers, towels and exercise equipment. Cuts or scrapes on your skin are usually the entry point for the virus. For example, it has been shown that people with warts who bite their nails can break their skin and cause the warts to spread further around the nails and fingers.

Warts tend to go away on their own, or with the help of simple over the counter treatments that use a mild acid and abrasive to dissolve the wart slowly. If your warts are causing pain, or if they change in shape or color, you should see your dermatologist for an evaluation and to rule out the possibility of skin cancer.

It is important to be seen by an experienced dermatologist to develop the most effective treatment plan for your individual requirements. Dr. Juan Vaillant of Old Bridge Dermatology has been treating patients for hair, skin, and nail problems for over 30 years, and has the extensive background needed to help address a variety of dermatological issues. Dr. Vaillant has successfully treated acne, eczema, dandruff, hair loss, psoriasis, and nail fungus. If you are looking for an amiable, highly skilled dermatologist, call our office in Old Bridge, NJ at (732) 679-0222 and make an appointment.