Warts are common, especially in kids. There are five main types of warts that affects kids:
- Common warts: These are usually on people's hands, but they can also be in other places. They are not smooth, they're grayish brown and are shaped like domes.
- Plantar warts: Usually on the bottoms of your feet, these are harder than regular skin and they have speckles. They may hurt from walking -- it can feel like a rock in your shoe
- Flat warts: mostly on the arms, legs or face, they're about the size of a pencil eraser and are flat. They are lighter than other types of warts.
- Filiform warts: usually on the mouth, nose or chin, these are skin color. They also have projections, like grass, coming out of them.
- Periungal warts: are underneath fingernails or toenails. They look like bumps and can disrupt your nails from growing.
Warts are spread very easily -- through most forms of contact: skin, towels, gloves, razors, clothing or other items.
The virus can also live on changing room or locker room floors, in showers or around swimming pools.
If you're exposed to human papillomavirus, it can take two to nine months to grow a wart. The virus can live on the skin without causing warts, but can enter through cuts or scratches. Warts don't usually hurt unless they're on your finger or foot and they're pressed on often.
What should you do if you have a wart?
Most warts go away on their own because the body fights the virus by making antibodies. If they're painful talk to your parents or doctor. There are medicines to put on the wart or a doctor can freeze it off. There are also surgical options for stubborn warts. Many treatments kill the wart but not the virus, so warts can return.
Reviewed by the Web Content Committee of PAMF