What is a wart?

The wart is a common skin infection characterized by small, rough, and dry lumps in the skin. It is caused by an infection from the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts mostly appear on your hands or feet. When a wart grows on the feet, the condition is termed as verruca. Several warts may crop up on your skin, but it’s possible to get only one of them as well.

Warts are highly common and are typically nothing to worry about. The skin condition resolves by itself, but sometimes treatment is recommended to hasten the recovery process.

What are the symptoms of a wart?

There are various types of warts with different symptoms and appearances:

  • Common warts

This is the typical form of warts that grow on the hands and feet. They can also be found on the knees, fingers, and knuckles.

Common warts are round, rough, hard to touch, and slightly raised on the skin. They are less than a centimeter wide and has black speckles on it, which are blood vessels.

  • Filiform warts

These are warts that grow on the face and neck. Specifically, warts may be found on the lips or eyelids. Filiform warts are comprised of single long stalks colored yellow, brown, or pink. They may also appear in the same color as your skin.

  • Plantar/Palmar warts

These are warts that develop on the foot’s bottom (plantar warts) and on the palms of the hands (palmar). They form in clusters of tiny warts, looking like a mosaic. Plantar and palmar warts are often seen in little children.

  • Plane warts

This is another wart type that tends to develop more in children. Plane warts are flat, yellowish warts that form in clusters. Each wart has a size that doesn’t exceed 4mm in width. Plane warts often appear on the face, legs, and hands.

  • Periungual warts

These are rough warts resembling a cauliflower and usually grow around and under nails. They can distort your nails’ shape and may be painful at times.

  • Verrucas

Warts that grow on the soles of the feet are called verrucas. They are often flat with a white body and a black spot in the middle. Verrucas can cause itch and a pin prick-like sensation when walking with them.

  • Genital warts

This is a different kind of warts that grow in the genital areas of both men and women. They appear softer than the rest of warts previously described. They are often itchy and can become painful as well. Genital warts are transmitted through sexual contact.

How are warts diagnosed?

Mobidoctor GPs can diagnose the type of warts you have through a video consultation. A physician will ask you to show the affected areas so that he can assess the proper wart type you’re exhibiting. He can then prescribe the right treatment options if needed.

Some cases may warrant a referral to a specialist. Mobodoctor GPs will prepare the referrals for you, in case you need to undergo tests or specialist treatment.

You can also consult a physician if you experience any of the following with your warts:

  • Bleeding
  • Unusual changes in appearance
  • Extreme pain
  • Persistently returning
  • Appears on the face or the genitals

What causes warts?

A virus called Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the culprit behind warts. The virus typically lies dormant on the skin, causing no harm until a skin trauma causes it to react. Any kind of skin trauma such as a scratch may become a breeding ground for the virus, infecting the affected skin and resulting in a wart.

Warts can be contagious, but you’ll need close skin-to-skin contact to pass on the virus to others. It can also be acquired by touching surfaces contaminated by someone who has the virus.

Kids, young adults, elderlies, and those with weak immune defenses are most prone to getting infected by warts. Skin that’s wet or damaged is also more prone to HPV infection.

If you already have a wart anywhere in your body, you can pass it on to other body parts simply through touch. Let’s say you have a wart on the hand. You can spread this wart across your own body by frequently touching your face or by biting your nails. So, be mindful of your personal hygiene and habits for your warts not to increase across your body.

What is the treatment for warts?

Warts clear up by themselves, but it could take years as the HPV lingers long in the skin. Treatments such as the following help speed up skin recovery:

  • Products containing salicylic acids

Salicylic acid is a powerful medication that dissolves a skin protein called keratin. Warts disappear because they’re mostly made up of keratin masses. Pharmacies carry over-the-counter salicylic acid products such as pads, plasters, drops, and gels,

  • Cryotherapy

This is a treatment method that involves freezing warts to temperatures below 57 degrees Celsius. You need several sessions of cryotherapy in order for warts to fall off completely after a few weeks.

Speak to your physician if you experience extreme pain or itch in the wart-infested area, or if conventional treatments described above didn’t work for you. Skin specialist referrals may be arranged for you for further investigation and more aggressive treatment.

How can Mobidoctor help?

Mobidoctor has a hub of doctors readily available for video consultations anytime, anywhere. Simply talk to any of our physicians via a video call through your laptop, computer, tablet, or smartphone. Get a consultation at your preferred time on-demand.

Mobidoctor’s GP`s who will attend your video consultation will assess your symptoms, diagnose your condition, and prescribe a treatment plan according to your needs. They can also arrange for referrals if you have health concerns that need further investigation.