Warts are small growths on the skin caused by one of the various strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Though HPV is a commonly known sexually transmitted infection, it’s quite common among all kinds of people. The virus encourages skin cells to grow, forming a thickened spot of skin that we call a wart.

Most warts grow on the hands and feet but can grow anywhere on the body. They vary in size and appearance depending on where they grow, and how the person’s immune system responds to the virus. 

Who Is Prone To Getting Warts?

As mentioned above, warts are caused by HPV. Not everyone with the virus will develop warts due to their immune system’s response. HPV is spread through human contact. Openings in the skin make it easier for the virus to take control. People who have damaged skin, eczema, or are frequent nail biters are more susceptible to getting HPV, therefore developing warts. 

Kids and teenagers are more vulnerable to HPV. That’s because their immune system hasn’t learned to defend against most strains of the virus. Also, people with auto-immune diseases are more likely to develop warts, because the body isn’t strong enough to fight off the virus. 

What Are The Different Types Of Warts?

Here are some of the most common types of warts:

Common Warts

Common warts are typically found on the hands and feet. These flesh-coloured vary in size. Some can be as small as a pinhead while others the size of a pellet. Common warts found on the hand can transport the virus to the face and other areas of the body. Sometimes they have small dark spots which are tiny blood clots.  

Plantar Warts

Plantar (Latin for the sole) warts occur on the feet. They are often mistaken for calluses due to their appearance. Since plantar warts grow on the bottom of the feet, applied pressure pushes them inside the skin. They are pretty much harmless but can feel slightly uncomfortable while walking. 

Filiform Warts

Filiform warts grow quickly and develop small clusters of growths usually on the face and eyes. They are painless, but living with filiform warts can be uncomfortable. 

Flat Warts

Flat warts (also called upside-down warts) grow in large numbers. They are most commonly found on children, beards, and women’s legs. 

Do Warts Go Away On Their Own?

Your body can develop resistance to the virus over time. Usually, it takes around two to three years for the immune system to fight warts off completely. Not all warts go away on their own. HPV is a complex virus, and doctors are still researching more about the symptoms. If you have a wart that’s bothering you, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your doctor. 

When You Should See A Doctor

Most of the time you won’t need to see a doctor for a wart. The only two reasons you should reach out to your doctor is if the wart is painful, or too unsightly to live with. Though warts go away, they are still contagious. You could easily spread more warts around your body or even to other people.

There is no “one size fits all” treatment for warts. Your age, condition, and medical history can influence which type of treatment is most suitable. Your doctor will be able to recommend the best treatment for your condition.

Heavenly Foot Care Can Help You With Your Warts!

Are warts ruining your day? Heavenly Foot Care is a leading mobile podiatrist in St. Catharines who can help with wart removal. Call (905) 931-9965 or email sherri@heavenlyfootcare.ca to schedule an appointment.