Warts | Treatment and Preventive Measures | Dermatology


What are warts?

Warts are skin infections caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are more than 100 types of HPV for many types of verruca vulgaris, such as common warts, plantar warts, flat warts, and genital warts. These are common, especially in childhood. Some estimates suggest that one in five children will have acne, with children between the ages of 12 and 16 being the most affected. Without medical treatment, most acne infections will clear up on their own.

Types of warts

These may vary depending on the part of the body affected. Types include:

  • Common warts: These often develop on the fingers, nails, toes, or the back of the hand. Sometimes, it develops on the knees.
  • Plantar warts: This appears on the soles of the feet. These look like calluses with small black dots in the middle. They are often painful and occur in groups.
  • Flat warts: These are slightly raised and appear soft. These are light brown in colour and most often develop on the forehead and cheeks.
  • Filiform warts: These are long and pointed and usually appear around the eyes, nose, and mouth. This grows fast.
  • Genital warts: These are pimples that form on the penis, vagina, or rectum. These types of verruca Vulgaris are sexually transmitted infections. You can get genital warts if you have sex with an infected person.
  • Periungual warts: This grows around the fingers and toes, and usually spread under the nail.

Causes of warts

These come from a family of viruses called human papillomavirus (HPV). After becoming infected with the virus, it can take a year or more for the wart to appear. Then they grow very slowly over a period of months to years. The virus is spread from person to person or from different parts of the body:

  • Direct contact with a wart
  • Touching something contaminated with the virus, such as towels, doorknobs, and shower floors
  • Sexual intercourse
  • Nail-biting and cuticle picking

Symptoms of warts

Common warts (Verruca Vulgaris):

  • Colour flesh, white, pink, or tan
  • Irregularly shaped and dome-shaped with a grainy surface
  • It usually grows on the fingers, especially around the nails, and on the back of the hands
  • It feels hard to the touch
  • They often have small black dots, which are small clotted blood vessels

Plantar warts:

  • Grows mainly on the soles of the feet
  • Grow in groups
  • Often flattened or inward (walking creates stress and causes ¬†verruca vulgaris to grow inward)
  • Annoying, it feels like there are stones in your shoe
  • There may be black spots

Flat or plane warts (verruca plana):

  • Small, flat, slightly raised, smooth surface, tan or flesh-coloured
  • It grows anywhere, but usually on the face in children, on the chin in men, and the legs in women
  • Prefers to grow in large quantities

Filiform warts:

  • Looks like long threads or thin fingers
  • It often grows on the face – around the mouth, eyes, and nose.
  • They often grow quickly


A doctor can usually diagnose pimples by looking at them. Sometimes the doctor will need to take some tissue from a pimple and look at it under a microscope. The HPV test can also be performed on samples taken from the uterus during a female pelvic exam.

Verruca Vulgaris treatment

Most of these go away without treatment, but they take some time. In children, without treatment, 50% of verrucae disappear in 6 months and almost all (90%) disappear in 2 years. It takes longer in adults.

Because verrucae can spread, cause pain, and cause nausea, your doctor may recommend treatment. There are options:

  • At-home wart removal: Over-the-counter (OTC) acne-clearing medications, such as Compound W, contain salicylic acid. This chemical dissolves one layer of grains at a time. These products come in liquid, gel, and patch forms. You will need to take medicine every day for several months to get rid of the wart completely.
  • Freezing: During a procedure called cryotherapy, your doctor will apply liquid nitrogen to freeze the pimple. After freezing, a blister forms. Finally, peel the blister and pimple. You may need several treatments.
  • Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy can be helpful if other wart treatments don’t work. The dermatologist may apply a chemical to the pimple that will cause a mild allergic reaction in an attempt to remove it. When a person has genital warts, a dermatologist can also help the immune system by using interferon to fight the wart virus.
  • Laser treatment: Your doctor will use a laser light to heat and destroy the small blood vessels in the wart. This process reduces the blood supply and kills the wart.
  • Topical medicine: Topical treatment consists of painting the wart. This paint usually contains salicylic acid, which gradually removes hardened skin with acne. A person should apply paint to the wart every day for up to 12 weeks.


Problems can vary depending on the type of acne. In the case of plantar warts, it is difficult to walk. In the case of the perineal wart, patients may experience severe pain.

The problems are more serious in patients with genital warts because they are pre-existing lesions. Women can develop cervical cancer, vaginal obstruction, and pimples during childbirth can transmit the infection to newborns. Men may experience obstruction of the urinary system.


To help prevent this disease:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap or use a disinfectant, especially when you are in contact with infected people
  • Do not touch other people’s pimples
  • Get into the habit of biting your nails or picking at your cuticles
  • Do not use towels, washcloths, or any other personal items
  • Wear sandals or shower shoes in religious rain
  • Get the HPV vaccine and use condoms to stop genital warts
  • Keep your feet dry to limit the spread of plantar warts
  • Cover pimples with a waterproof cover when swimming and socks or gloves elsewhere, for example at the gym
  • Keep your hands as dry as possible


Once the virus is contracted, there is definitely no way to prevent this disease from reappearing. After treatment, verrucae will reappear in the same place or another part of the body. But some people get rid of verrucae and never get them again.

Departments to consult for this condition

  • Department of dermatology

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