What Are Warts?

A wart, quite simply, is an infection.  The virus that is responsible for causing this type of infection is part of the HPV, or human papillomavirus category.  A wart can appear anywhere on your body and there are over 100 types of viruses that come from the HPV family.

The most common type of virus in the HPV family is known to cause a wart to appear on the epidermis or skin.  They will most generally appear on the hands, usually the fingers.  Warts in the genital area are caused by a different type of HPV virus.  Some people are more prone than others to exhibit warts.

A wart can appear in several forms.  It can be a single wart or come in a group.  They will most likely appear as round, either raised or flat and dome shaped.  The color of a wart is often a brownish-gray color.

If you do have a wart it is important that you take measures not to spread it to someone else.  Warts can be passed from person-to-person and are contagious.  Measures to prevent the spread of warts are crucial.  This, as well as in other contagious diseases, is the reason why sharing of personal hygiene items are discouraged.

Another type of wart that is highly contagious and is of a more intimate nature is genital warts.  This type of warts is passed from individuals through sexual acts involving oral sex, anal sex, and vaginal sex.  It is also wise to practice the use of condoms in all forms of intimacy to avoid the spreading of warts, as well as other sexually transmitted diseases.  Some women are not even aware that they have genital warts, as they can grow inside the vagina.

There are some warts that will disappear on their own, but not all of them do.  There is no rhyme or reason to this.  Even so, it can take a long time for them to go away.  Treatment for warts is recommended due to their sensitivity and the possibility of discomfort and bleeding when traumatized.  Treatment may also prevent spreading or a decrease in the spreading of warts.

It is best to have a physician remove the offending wart.  Some methods of removing a wart are done with the use of salicylic acid, liquid nitrogen, burning, laser, cantharidin, and/or excision.  Depending on the type of wart reoccurrence is possible.

If you suspect that you have a wart it is best to consult with a dermatologist who will know the best form of treatment for your particular type of wart.  He or she will be able to remove the lesion and follow up accordingly thereby decreasing the risk of any scarring.

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Originally posted 2009-02-01 15:13:50.

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