All About Warts and Verrucas


The human papillomavirus (HPV) causes little, scratchy bumps or growths on the skin, known as warts and verrucas. Several individuals obtain one at some point in their life, and they are prevalent among children and young adults. Verruca refers to a wart on the bottom of the foot.

Types of Warts and Verrucas

There are four primary wart types caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). The hands, knees, and feet are the most prevalent locations for warts, except for the genital region. They seem different but are fundamentally caused in the same manner.

Common Wart

They are solid, rounded, elevated growths with rough surfaces like a little cauliflower. They are often greyish-white or light brown and a few millimetres in diameter. This form of wart occurs most frequently on the hands or knees.

Verruca (plantar wart)

Verrucas are warts that appear on the soles of the feet. These may contain little black specks in the centre, which are blood clots in microscopic blood vessels on the skin’s surface. These may be uncomfortable when weight is applied. Because of the pressure exerted on verrucas, they tend to appear flat. If you have clusters of verrucas, they may occasionally fuse together. These are known as mosaic warts.

Plane Wart (flat wart)

Plane warts are round, smooth, and somewhat elevated, with a flat top. They might be a shade of pale brown, greyish-yellow, or skin colour. The face, the backs of your hands, or legs are the most common locations for these warts, and you often have a cluster of them.

Genital Wart

The HPV strains that produce genital warts are distinct from those that cause other warts. These are sexually transmitted infections (STIs), meaning they are transferred through sexual contact. If you have these warts, you should seek additional counsel from an STI clinic. The treatment of genital warts differs from that of other forms of warts. For genital warts, do not use over-the-counter wart treatments.

Symptoms of Warts and Verrucas

You may be concerned about the appearance of your warts, especially if they are on your hands or face. Yet, warts and verrucas often do not produce symptoms despite their appearance. You may experience discomfort or agony if they are placed on your feet or near your nail beds. Warts can occasionally fracture and bleed.

Warts and verrucas often disappear on their own. See your pharmacist if they become painful or worsen.

Verruca and Wart Removal

Often, you do not need to see a doctor for warts or verrucas. Usually, warts and verrucas are harmless and resolve on their own without therapy. In children, half vanish within one year, and two-thirds do so within two years. Warts and verrucas may take five to ten years to heal in adulthood; in extreme cases, they might take as long as five years.

In many cases, leaving warts alone is the best course of action, particularly for youngsters, as certain treatments can be time-consuming, uncomfortable, and produce adverse effects. If you wish to attempt over-the-counter remedies for a wart or verruca, you can seek guidance from your pharmacist.

There are situations in which you should consult your physician. If you have a new growth on your skin and you are unsure of what it is, especially if it is developing fast, you should always consult your doctor. Your doctor will typically be able to identify a wart simply by observing and inspecting it. You should also visit your doctor if you are concerned about a wart that is painful, bleeding, or otherwise bothersome.

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