Warts are growths that appear on the skin. They can grow on almost any part of the body, and they can be large or small. Warts are the result of clogged blood vessels. They can be removed in several different ways, and most of the time, they are harmless. Most warts even go away on their own. Some warts can be signs of a virus or even cancerous. People who have weakened immune systems are most likely to develop warts.
Warts are caused by human papillomavirus. There are more than a hundred different strains of the virus, and each one can be responsible for warts appearing in different places. One strain can cause them on the hands, one can cause them on the feet, and one can cause them on the genitals and other areas of the body. Most strains of HPV are harmless, as are warts they cause. Some strains can be dangerous and have been known to cause cervical cancer in women.
The symptoms of warts are obvious, but they can sometimes be confused with other conditions, such as moles, skin tags, welts, and rashes. The most common symptoms of warts include:
Most people can diagnose themselves with warts, and doctors can do it with a physical exam. Although most warts are harmless, it’s a good idea to have them looked at by a doctor, especially if they are reoccurring. Doctors can diagnose the underlying cause of warts and treat it. Doctors might also take a scraping or biopsy of the wart to test it to make sure it is not cancerous.
Warts can be treated in a variety of ways. Most treatments depend on the patient’s health and the location of the wart. Some common treatments include:
People who have warts might have more than one and might see them reappear every few years. Once warts have been removed, and the underlying cause has been found and treated, the warts are less likely to reappear. Some people have to try several different treatment methods to find the one that works for them and can remove warts completely.