Warts are small growths that appear on the skin. They vary in type, size, appearance, and location. Warts usually are not painful.
A virus causes warts. Warts are very contagious and can be spread from person to person. Some warts respond to over-the-counter treatments. In some cases, warts need to be removed by a doctor.
Viruses cause warts. Different subtypes of the human papillomavirus virus (HPV) cause different kinds of warts. Warts vary in size, appearance, and location. They are typically small, painless growths that appear on the outer layer of the skin.
Warts are highly contagious. The viruses that cause warts spread by direct contact with a wart and by contact with surfaces that have the viruses on them, such as locker room floors. Warts can take from one to eight months to appear after the virus is contracted.
There are different types of warts. Common warts usually develop in the hand but may appear anywhere. They are raised, rough, and have horn-like growths. Subungual and periungal warts appear near and under fingernails or toenails. Plantar warts occur on the bottom of the foot. They can be painful and grow into the skin instead of outward. Flat warts are small bumps that typically appear on the face or back of the hands.
Genital warts are a sexually transmitted disease. Genital warts appear in the pubic area, on the genitals, in the vaginal canal, or in the anus. In rare cases, they may develop in the mouth as a result of oral sex. Some people may not realize that they have genital warts because they may not have obvious symptoms. Some of the viruses that cause genital warts are associated with an increased risk of cancer, particularly cervical cancer in women.
Warts are very contagious. You should avoid touching warts on another person or yourself. Warts can be spread from one part of your body to another. You should wear shoes in locker rooms and public shower areas to protect your feet from contact with the virus.
You can prevent genital warts by not having sexual contact with a person that has genital warts. A person with genital warts should avoid sexual contact until after the warts are treated. Doctors are not sure if male latex condoms prevent the spread of HPV. Females should have regular Pap Smear Tests to detect cell abnormalities or cancer associated with HPV that causes genital warts