Types of Warts and How to Spot Them

Warts are an unsightly skin phenomenon that are a great nuisance to those who suffer from them. They are typically characterized by a raised, hardened area of skin with a calloused surface, but can appear in many forms.

Warts are caused by a viral infection in the upper layer of skin. The virus which causes them is in the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) family. When this virus enters through a scratch in the skin, it causes rapid cell growth and results in the formation of a wart.

While warts are typically easy to differentiate from other skin afflictions (e.g. acne, eczema), determining which type of wart you have is more difficult and a dermatologist should be consulted.. Here’s a quick list of the most commonly diagnosed types of wart. (Who would have guessed there were so many?!)

Common Wart

Common warts appear as hard, raised lumps with rough surfaces. Although they can be found on any part of the body, these warts are typically found alone or in clusters on the hands or knees.

Flat Warts

Flat warts look like smooth, flattened lumps. Any part of the body can have flat warts, but the most commonly afflicted areas are the face and lower legs. Flat warts are often spread through shaving, as the virus is redistributed to other areas of skin.

Filiform Warts

Filiform warts appear as thin, long threads of calloused skin. These warts usually affect the face, especially near the eyes.

Plantar Warts

Plantar warts appear as small, hard bumps, often with little black dots on them. Plantar warts most commonly appear on the soles of feet.

Warts are unsightly and no fun at all, but they are typically easily diagnosed and treated by a trained dermatologist. The Gainesville Dermatology team is well-versed at removal techniques ranging from freezing to surgical removal. To schedule a consultation for wart removal with Gainesville Dermatology and Skin Surgery, call (352) 332-4442.

Photo: ShutterStock