Warts (small growths on the skin) are a kind of skin problem caused by viral infection. You can get them anywhere on the body, including your face. They can spread to others. But though they are contagious, some types are less likely to spread. Fortunately, most cases of this skin problem go away on its own – though it can take several months to improve and fade.
They are usually painless and harmless. But like most things in skin problem, they can be embarrassing and disfiguring, particularly when they affect the visible spots of the body such as hands, feet, or even face.
Furthermore, occasionally they may also itch or hurt (typically if they occur on the skin with repeated pressure /friction).
Based on where they occur, they can be categorized into four major types:
- Common warts (the most common type). Typically, it affects hands – however, it can affect any areas of the skin.
- Plantar, usually on soles of the feet.
- Flat warts, usually on back of the hands and face.
- And genital warts! As the name implies, this type is usually found on the genital areas.
The problem occurs due to the infection of virus called HPV (the human papillomavirus). There are many types of HPV, and not all of them can cause warts. Even most of them only cause mild /harmless conditions. And different types of HPV cause different types of warts.
A contact with certain types of HPV is the cause of the problem, but this doesn’t mean that each time you get the contact then you will definitely develop warts.
The problem tends to develop if the skin has been damaged /broken in some way. Furthermore, some individuals tend to get the problem than others.
Your risk of developing the problem is higher if you have one /some of the following risk factors:
- Age factor! Although it can occur at any age, but is more likely to occur in children and teens (young adults).
- If you get a direct contact with warts from others.
- If you have a condition /health problem that affect your immune system, especially some that weaken your immune such as HIV /AIDS.
- Certain medicines may also increase the risk, especially some that also have an effect in causing weakened immune system of your body.
- If you get used with locker rooms or other communal facilities. This can increase your risk of getting viral /bacterial infections, which one of them could be HPV.
Since the major cause of the problem is viral infection, it can be a contagious condition. But for flat warts, they are less likely to spread to other people if compared with genital warts.
If they affect face, they are usually smoother and smaller than other types of warts – they are also often flush with skin of face.
In size, they are relatively smaller. Typically, they are not larger than 1 cm (0.39 inches). The following is a helpful image (click the next page)!