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Types Of Warts

Types Of Warts

Warts (verruca vulgaris) occur in a number of different forms and they are primarily identified based on appearances as well as the locations in which they occur on the body. The following comprises the eight most common types of warts. Wart treatment is available through our Gainesville dermatologist clinic — contact us today for more information about the comprehensive range of skin conditions treated or to schedule a consultation.

Common Warts (Verruca Vulgaris)

Common warts, or seed warts, are also referred to as verruca vulgaris. They are characterized by tiny skin bumps which are commonly found on facial skin. These warts present with a rough texture and appear as a stalk of cauliflower. As common warts develop, they thicken to form plaque. As with a number of other types of warts, common warts often display small black speckles, which are due to clotted blood vessels beneath the skin.

In the majority of cases, a common wart is painless and does not cause physical discomfort. Full development of the common wart typically requires two to six months, during which the wart will appear as a small, flesh-colored head of a pin. The cause of common warts is generally attributed to human papillomavirus (HPV) strains 1, 2, 4, 27, and 29.

Flat Warts (Verruca Plana)

Flat warts, or plane warts, are also commonly referred to as verruca plana or juvenile warts. This type of wart appears as a tiny lesion — the size of the head of a pin — and the top portion of the wart has a flat surface. The most common victims of flat warts are children and teenagers. Flat warts usually develop on the face and forehead, but they may also occur on the back of the hands, the neck, and on the arms, among other parts of the body.

Flat warts grow in clusters or groups comprised of several hundred individual warts, and they appear in a range of colors, such as pink, light brown, and yellow. Unlike other types of warts, flat warts are smooth to the touch, slightly raised and they can barely be seen with the naked eye. These warts are commonly caused by HPV strains 3, 10, 28, and 49.

Filiform Warts (Verruca Filiformis)

Filiform warts are commonly referred to as facial warts due to their occurrence on the lips and eyelids, but they may also appear on the lips, eyelids, neck, fingers, and legs. This type of wart is distinct in appearance — the filiform wart is narrow and long. The narrow projections can extend about 1 to 2 millimeters from the skin. Each filiform wart grows individually and may appear in several colors, including flesh-colored, brown, yellow, or pink.

While this type of wart is benign and often asymptomatic, it is highly contagious and may be spread to other parts of the body or to other individuals through skin-to-skin contact. Symptoms may appear if filiform warts appear in sensitive areas, such as skin folds. These warts are commonly caused by HPV strains 1, 2, 4, 27, and 29.

Genital Warts (Condyloma Acuminatum)

Genital warts can manifest as discrete, flat papules; broad-based, smooth papules; velvety papules; or rough and pedunculated excrescence on the perineal, perirectal, labial, scrotal, and penile areas of the body as well as the cervix. However, these warts may also appear on the lips, mouth, tongue, or throat due to oral sexual contact with an individual who has HPV. Genital warts may or may not be visible to the naked eye, depending on the case.

Common symptoms include vaginal discharge, itching, bleeding, and burning. If genital warts develop in size, the patient may experience severe discomfort and pain, but these warts are typically asymptomatic in the majority of cases. These warts are commonly caused by HPV strains 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, and 39, and may lead to cervical cancer.

Mosaic Warts (Recalcitrant Plantar)

Commonly referred to ask recalcitrant plantar warts, mosaic warts are cluster formations of plantar warts, which create a mosaic-like appearance on the bottom of the feet. As with plantar warts, mosaic warts are often misdiagnosed as calluses. This type of wart is generally asymptomatic, but patients may experience low-to-moderate pain on the affected area. The surface of a mosaic wart often has a tiny black spots due to broken blood vessels.

Unlike other types of verrucae, mosaic warts are found only on areas of the body which are devoid of hair, such as the bottom of the feet and the hands. These warts may cause pain when standing or walking. Mosaic warts are among the most difficult type of warts to eradicate and require professional treatment with a dermatologist in Gainesville.

Oral Warts (Oral Condyloma Acuminatum)

Oral warts may appear anywhere with the oral cavity or on the lips, and they are generally not painful unless irritation occurs to the affected area. These warts are small and discrete and they occur in few numbers. Oral warts appear to be rough and lumpy in texture, but they also may occur as thick growths; white, dome-shaped lesions; or they may develop into elevated growths with flat surfaces and a color similar to that of the surrounding tissues.

Unlike other forms of HPV, oral HPV is contracted through oral sexual contact with an individual who carries strains 57 or strains 72 and 73. Infection occurs through a small cut or tear inside of the mouth. Because oral HPV is often asymptomatic, most carriers are unaware of the infection. This type of HPV can develop into oropharyngeal cancer, in rare cases.

Periungual Warts (Periungual Verrucae)

Periungual warts are caused by HPV strains 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 27, and 57. These warts typically develop around the fingernails and toenails. During the early stages of development, these warts are approximately 1.5 millimeters in size, or comparable to the size of a pinhead. A periungual wart may appear as a translucent and smooth lesion, which is hardly visible to the naked eye, but as it develops, the lesion appears cauliflower-like and rough in texture.

Irregular bumps on periungual warts affect the proper growth of the nails, which causes the nail to elevate and become separated from the nail bed. These warts may eventually expand into multiple clusters and cause permanent damage to the affected nails. If the growth of the periungual wart spreads beneath the nail bed, a fungal infection may develop.

Plantar Warts (Verruca Plantaris)

Plantar warts are characterized as small abrasions that are generally found under the soles of the feet as well as the toes and they may appear to be deformed or inflames. During the early stages of development, plantar warts may initially feature small black spots — due to clotted blood vessels — and later progress into a brown, cauliflower-like form.

Unlike the majority of other types of warts, which grow outwards, plantar warts grow inwards due to persistent and prolonged pressure due to walking and standing. Because of this, patients may experience significant pain. If untreated, plantar warts may cause increased pain and discomfort. These warts are commonly caused by HPV strains 1 and 2 and are generally acquired through barefoot exposure in warm, moist areas.

Common Wart Characteristics

In addition to the various characteristics of the specific types of warts, the characteristic findings of warts commonly identified through physical examination by a Gainesville dermatology professional include sites of microtrauma on the hands, feet, and knees; overlapping or touching lesions; verrucous or hyperkeratotic lesions in characteristic patterns (depending on the wart subtype); loss of normal skin lines; highly organized superficial mosaic patterns; small, thrombosed vessels which appear as small black dots (or seeds) within the lesion; and a lack of dermal involvement. During the examination, our dermatologists will inquire about the patient’s history, including information about exposure to HPV; any occurrence of warts during childhood and adolescence; recent water or pool activities; asymptomatic, but pruritic lesions; and whether patients are in an immunocompromised state.

How Long Do Warts Last?

Warts generally appear anywhere between 1 month to 6 months after an individual becomes infected. A significant portion of different types of warts may disappear without dermatological treatment, as they become expelled by the body’s immune system, within two years of infection. However, not every type of wart can be healed without professional treatment. The type of treatment depends on a wide range of factors specific to the patient, such as whether any additional infections are present; whether any prior treatments (at-home treatments or dermatology treatments) were performed; and the location, number, and size of the wart(s). The likelihood of infection to other parts of the body as well as to other individuals is an additional consideration. If you believe you have a wart, contact our clinic today to schedule a dermatology appointment for professional, effective wart treatment from our Gainesville dermatologists.