We Love You, Warts and All
Most people have some warts, usually when in their teens or as young adults. And none of them came from picking up a toad.
OK. So that’s out of the way.
Warts are caused by a virus, more specifically the human papillomavirus (HPV). While warts gave this virus its name (warts are clinically called papillomas), warts are the least of your worries when it comes to HPV. HPV is a group of more than 150 related viruses. Some cause warts, but others cause various cancers such as cervical, mouth, and others.
Why do people get warts?
When a person is infected with the HPV, usually through an area of broken skin, the virus causes the top layer of the skin to grow rapidly. The excessive cell growth creates the wart.
Warts can grow anywhere on the human body. Different types of warts grow in different places. Usually, they go away on their own within a few months or a couple of years. Sometimes, when the wart starts spreading or becomes painful, that’s the time to see Dr. Carter at Deschutes.
What are the different types of warts?
- Common warts are dome-shaped, rough, and grayish-brown in color. They usually grow on the hands and arms.
- Plantar warts are thick hard patches of skin that grow on the soles of the feet. When they get big enough, they need to be removed as they feel as if the person has a pebble in his or her shoe when walking.
- Flat warts are small with flat tops. They are pink, brown, or yellow in color. They grow on the face, arms, and legs.
- Filiform warts are skin-toned and appear to have threadlike growth sticking out of them. They grow around the mouth, nose, or the beard.
- Periungular warts look like rough bumps with uneven borders and surfaces. They grow under the toenails and fingernails.
How do warts spread?
Kissing toads do not spread or create a wart, so princesses are safe. That is, unless they borrow a towel from a prince with a wart, or if they touch a wart on said Prince. After contact with the virus, it may take months before a wart sprouts.
When to beat up on a wart
Most warts can simply be ignored, kind of like your neighbor’s yapping miniature poodle. But if they become painful or start making baby warts, or if you don’t like the look of a wart, Dr. Carter can give them the business. She can use cryotherapy, electrosurgery, curettage, an injection, or even lasers to remove your warts. Usually, antibiotics need to be involved to keep the wart from returning; remember it is a virus that is responsible.