Warts are non-cancerous skin growths caused by a viral infection in the top layer of the skin. Viruses that cause warts are called human papilloma virus (HPV). Warts are usually skin colored and feel rough to the touch, but they can be dark, flat, and smooth. The appearance of the wart depends on where it is growing and the sub-type of HPV.

There are several different kind of warts including:

  • Common warts
  • Foot (Plantar) warts
  • Flat warts
  • Genital warts

All these types of warts are passed form person to person, sometimes indirectly. The time from the first contact to the time the warts have grown large enough to be seen is often several months. Some people get warts depending on how often they are exposed to the virus. Wart viruses more easily take hold in skin that has been damaged or injured to some degree. Some people are more resistant to getting warts because of their innate immunity to the virus.

Treatment of warts

There are a variety of methods dermatologists use to treat warts depending on the type of warts or there location on the body. These methods include freezing with liquid nitrogen, destruction with laser or electrosurgery, application of certain chemicals or immunotherapy. Your dermatologist will usually discuss the options in each individual case before embarking on a specific treatment.

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