Wart (Verucca)

A wart or a verucca is a small bump caused by a virus that infects the top layer of the skin.

There are two forms of warts:

  • Common warts
    These warts occur on the fingers near the fingernails and the back of the hand. They are usually not painful. Common warts usually occur in children and young adults, although they can occur at any age.
Wart in the finger.
Common wart or wart vulgaris.
  • Foot or plantar warts
    These warts occur on the bottom of the feet, and may be quite painful. These bumps are usually flat in shape and have dark spots, which are actually clotted blood vessels.
Plantar wart, found on the sole of the foot
Wart on the sole of the foot or plantar wart.

Symptoms of Wart

The symptoms of a wart include:

  • Rough, skin-colored, white, pink or tan bumps
  • Pea-sized or smaller bumps
  • Pain (for plantar warts)

An existing wart can shed viruses, which create new warts nearby (even when the original wart is healing). Because it is difficult to completely eradicate the virus, warts can be a chronic condition.

Causes of Wart

A virus called the human papillomavirus or HPV. It is transmitted through direct contact and through shared clothings or shoes, especially through open cuts in the skin. It can also be transmitted if person happens to step barefoot on the same floor that has the virus.

Wart Treatment

Warts can be treated by:

  • Over-the-counter liquids and patches with salicylic acid.
  • Cryosurgery or freezing with liquid nitrogen
  • Laser
  • Electrodessication, where electric current is used to destroy the wart tissue
  • Scraping with a medical instrument called a curette

See also:
Wart Pictures

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