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What are Warts?

Warts are benign tumors of the epidermis. They can occur in people of all ages. Warts usually occur in children and young adults.

What does a Wart look like?

The appearance of a wart depends on where it is growing. Warts are usually the same color of the skin. Warts usually feel rough to the touch, but can be dark, flat or smooth.

What Causes Warts?

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

Where Do Warts Appear?

Warts can grow on many different parts of your body. They can grow on your skin, on the inside of your mouth, on your genitals (genital warts) and on your rectal area (anal warts). Some types of HPV cause warts on the skin, while other types of HPV cause warts on the genitals and rectal area. Some people are more naturally resistant to the HPV viruses and don't seem to get warts as easily as other people.

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 Warts be Treated?

Yes warts can be treated. Sometimes treatment is unnecessary and the warts will go away on their own. When treatment is necessary, the most common treatments for warts are:

  • medications (for small warts)
    • Must be conducted by a doctor to prevent injury to the normal skin surrounding the warts.
  • surgical removal (for large warts)
  • laser surgery
  • cauterization

If the warts are not removed through medicine or surgical removal, they will increase in size and number.

Will the 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.

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