What Are Warts?
August 23, 2021 | Farah Jassawalla

What Are Warts?

When small non-cancerous rough bumps are formed on the skin, the condition is known as warts. Warts are most commonly caused by a virus named human papillomavirus, which enters the skin through any injury or cut. The most common sites of infection are hands, but they can also affect the face, feet, genitals and knees.

In order to prevent its spread and the severity of the condition, you should see your doctor and begin the treatment. Some home remedies and precautionary measures can also help in managing the infection.

Types of Warts

Some of the types are as under:

      Common warts (verruca Vulgaris): This infection most commonly appears on knees and hands in the form of hard raised lumps with rough surfaces.

      Flat warts (verruca plana): They can spread to any body part but are most commonly present on the face, lower legs and hands. They usually look like flattened but smooth lumps.

      Filiform warts: These warts are mostly visible on the face, i.e. near eyelids and lips.

      Mosaic warts: The hands and soles of the feet are most commonly affected and are present in the form of tightly clustered groups of warts.

      Plantar warts: Black, tiny dots are present on them and typically affect the soles of the feet.

      Genital warts: Grey or off-white lumps with a grainy ‘cauliflower’ appearance are formed on the penis, vulva and anus.

Risk Factors of Warts

The following factors increase the risk of developing the infection:

      Cuts or injuries to the skin

      Weak immune system

      Autoimmune diseases

      Organ transplants


      Direct contact with the infected individual

      Scratching the affected area which promotes its spread to the other body parts

      Use of public swimming pools

      Not drying hands after washing


Warts vary in their appearance. They may look like:

      Small and fleshy bumps

      Grainy bumps




      White, pink, tan or flesh-colored

      Grey or black colored.

How can I Prevent Warts?

Warts can be prevented by practicing the measures mentioned below.

      Avoid touching another person’s warts.

      Do not scratch your warts.

      Make the use of condoms a necessity.

      Get the HPV vaccine.

      Wear shoes while using the public pool areas or showers.

      Always dry your hands and feet after washing them.

      Abstain from sexual contact.

      Avoid sex with anyone who is already infected.

Treatment of Warts

In most cases, warts disappear without any treatment, but if they stay for a longer period of time and if they are painful and itchy, you should consult your doctor immediately. The treatment options include:

      Over-the-counter medications: Compound W® contains salicylic acid, which comes in liquid, gel and patch form. You can apply it at home by yourself for several months until the warts completely clear away. Head to Shifa4U to acquire high-quality medications.

      Cryotherapy: Liquid nitrogen is applied to your warts directly, the blister is formed on the wart, and after some time, the blister and wart peel off

      Laser surgery: The blood supply to the wart is cut off when your doctor uses laser light on it.

      Other medications: These include bleomycin, which is injected into a wart to kill the virus, and imiquimod (Aldara and Zyclara), an immunotherapy drug that stimulates your immune system to fight off the wart virus.

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Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.