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Flat warts

What are Flat Warts?

Flat warts are benign tumors of the epidermis. They usually occur in children. Flat warts are about the size of a pinhead. Flat warts usually appear on the face, but can also appear on arms, knees, or hands. Sometimes flat warts are found in clusters. There can be as many as 100 flat warts all clustered together.

Flat warts can be disfiguring and embarrassing, and occasionally they itch or hurt.

Flat warts are also called juvenile warts, plane juvenile warts, Periungual warts, Subungual warts, Plantar warts, Verruca, Verrucae planae juveniles, Filiform warts, and Verruca vulgaris.

What does a Flat Wart look like?

Flat warts are similar to the color of the skin. They can be pink, light brown, or yellow.

What Causes Flat Warts?

Flat warts are caused by viruses in the human papillomavirus (HPV) family. There are at least 60 types of HPV viruses.

Can warts be passed from one person to another person?

Yes. Warts on the skin can be transmitted from person to person by direct physical contact. It is also possible to transmit warts by using towels or other objects that were used by a person who has warts.

Warts on the genitals can be passed to another person during sexual contact. Sometimes, a woman may not know she has warts and may transmit warts to her sexual partner without even knowing it.

The time between the first contact with warts and the time that the new warts will appear is often several months.

Can Flat Warts be Treated?

Yes flat warts can be treated. Sometimes treatment is unnecessary and the warts will go away on their own. 

When treatment is necessary, the most common treatment for flat warts are:

  • medications (for small warts)
    • Must be conducted by a doctor to prevent injury to the normal skin surrounding the warts.
  • over the counter medication
    • Contain mild acids that help remove the dead skin cells on the surface of the wart
  • surgical removal (for large warts)
  • laser surgery
  • cauterization

Warts can be hard to get rid of because the thick layers of skin make it hard for medicine to reach the virus that causes them. If the warts are not removed through medicine or surgical removal, they will increase in size and number.

Complications of Flat Warts

Some common complications of flat warts are:

  • Spread of warts
  • Return of warts that disappeared
  • Minor scar formation if the wart is removed
  • Formation of keloids after removal

Will the Flat Warts Reappear?

In some cases, the warts will reappear. They may reappear because the viruses that cause the warts are still present in the body.

How to Prevent the Spread of Flat Warts

Some tips to prevent the spread of flat warts are:

  • Avoid direct skin contact with a wart on someone else.
  • After filing your wart, wash the file carefully since you can spread the virus to other parts of your body.
  • After touching any of your warts, wash your hands carefully.

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