What are Warts?

Warts are non-cancerous skin-colored growths caused by a virus in the top layer of the skin. Warts may appear as rough (surfaced), thickened lesions or, on occasion, are flat and smooth. Warts can be present singly or in a cluster (mosaic warts) such as around finger nails or soles of feet.

There are several different treatments available for warts, both at home and in-office. Salicylic acid is commonly used, but Clarkston Dermatology can also offer safe, effective in-office treatments with better results.

  • Common Warts: these types of warts usually grow on fingers, around backs of the hands, and around nails. They are most common in areas where the skin has been broken; for example, where fingernails are bitten or picked. This is referred to as “seed” warts due to blood vessels to the wart producing black dots that look like seeds.
  • Foot Warts: these warts are usually on the soles (plantar area) of the feet and are called plantar warts. When these type of warts grow in clusters they are called mosaic warts. Many plantar warts do not protrude up above the surface like common warts because the pressure of walking on the feet flattens them. They can also become painful, often like feeling a small rock in the shoe while walking.
  • Flat Warts: Flat warts are on the smaller size and more smooth than other types of warts. They usually grow in large numbers anywhere from 20 to 100 at any one time. They can appear anywhere, but in children especially, they are most common on the face. In adults, they are often found in the beard area in men and on the legs for women. This is due to irritation from shaving.

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