Types of Warts – Plantar, Genital, Filiform, Common Flat and Others
Types of Warts
Warts come in many different types, primarily identified based on which part of the human body in which they grow. Here, we will give you the 8 most common warts found on the body and general descriptions of each. All eight are covered in our Types of Warts drop down on the home page at https://warts.org.
What are warts?
Warts are small infections on the skin or lesions that are caused by a certain type of virus known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). Although children, young adults, and elderly people get warts most often, middle-aged adults can get them, too.
In most cases, warts are obtained through direct skin contact or from walking barefoot, especially when you have wounds, scratches, or any skin openings as the virus can go through those openings. Making contact with infected areas in public areas, like swimming pools and public shower rooms is a common source of warts. They can also be transferred when sharing personal items, like towels and razors, with someone who’s infected with HPV.
When infected with HPV, you may grow warts or you may not, depending on how strong your immune system is. It is your immune system that fights off the virus and eventually destroys the HPV and warts. Warts normally grow on the nails, fingers, back of the hands, feet, and toes. In some cases, a wart grows on your eyelids and lips. Another way HPV is transmitted is through sexual intercourse with a person infected by the virus. This type of HPV strain may grow warts on the genital area.
Symptoms of Warts
Warts appear differently, depending on the type of wart that grow and where it grows. They are normally small, and bumps start growing about the size of a pinhead. Most of them have rough surfaces and appear to have a black spot on the center of the wart, which are clotted blood vessels. The color is either white, brown, pink and, in most cases, they can have the form of a small piece of cauliflower. A wart can grow individually or in clusters.
You’ll almost never feel pain when warts grow on your skin except when the bumps are experiencing constant pressure as they then have the tendency to grow inward and will start to be painful and discomforting. In rare cases, warts may bleed and be very itchy. They may have been infected with another bacteria that is caused by picking at the wart or scratching it.
Common Warts (verruca vulgaris)
Common warts or seed warts are also termed as verruca vulgaris. They are tiny skin bumps and are commonly found on the hands and its appearance is like a stick of cauliflower and has a rough surface. As it grows, it thickens, and the thick parts are what we call plaque. As with other warts, it will show small black speckles which are clotted blood vessels. In most cases, it is painless and does not cause discomfort, unless they are frequently being bumped. It takes approximately two to six months for common warts to fully develop. During its early stages in the development, it will show tiny black spots that are as small as a head of a pin and it appears to be flesh-like in color.
Specific HPV strains which almost always cause common warts are human papillomavirus strains 1, 2, 4, 27 and 29. https://warts.org/common-warts
Filiform Warts (verruca filiformis)
Filiform warts also are known as facial warts because they grow on your lips or eyelids. They are a bit more peculiar than other warts because they appear to be narrow and long and grow longer between 1-2 millimeters. They grow individually and appear as different color shades such as flesh-colored, brown, yellow or pink. Filiform warts are specifically caused by HPV strains 1, 2, 4, 27, and 29.
As with other warts, they are also highly contagious and can be transmitted through direct skin contact. They may not be carcinogenic but can be annoying and cause discomfort. https://warts.org/facial-warts-filiform-warts
Periungual Warts or Subungual Warts
A Periungual wart is caused by human papillomavirus or HPV and normally grows around the fingernails and toenails. During its early stages, they are approximately 1.5 millimeters in size or comparable to a pinhead. Its appearance is translucent, smooth and hardly visible to the naked eye. After a few weeks in the development stage, the size grows comparable to a pea and its appearance becomes a bit rougher and more cauliflower-like.
Irregular bumps are found around the wart which affects the growth of the nails, causing it to elevate and separate itself from the nail bed. Periungual warts can eventually expand in different clusters. In worst cases, the growth of the nail could even remain irregular and permanently contorted and it gets even more complicated as it can cause fungal infection when the growth of a Periungual wart spreads underneath the nail plate. Specifically, HPV strains 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 27 and 57 can cause periungual warts. https://warts.org/periungual-warts
Plantar Warts (verruca)
Plantar warts are small abrasions normally found under the soles of the feet and at times on the toes. They sometimes appear to be deformed and inflamed. During its early stages, it shows small black spots. The form of plantar warts then grow to a cauliflower-like form and the color becomes brownish. Because of bleeding, a black spot is found in the center of the wart. This is actually blood clots which often look like seeds. Plantar warts can become very painful because unlike other warts that grow outwards, they grow inwards and the more they grow, the more painful they become. The reason why a plantar wart grows inward is that it is one of the few warts always subjected to pressure. When we walk, the weight of our bodies is passed down to our feet and this pressure is applied to the warts whenever we stand or walk. If untreated, they can become more painful and discomforting.
Plantar warts are specifically caused by HPV strains 1 and 2. This is normally acquired whenever you walk barefoot (especially when you have skin openings or breaks like wounds or scratches) in public areas like swimming pools and shower rooms. HPV thrives in warm and moist places. https://warts.org/plantar-warts
Flat Warts or Plane Warts (verruca plana)
Flat warts or verruca plana have other names such as plane warts and juvenile warts. Flat warts are tiny lesions that are as small as the head of a pin. The top portion of the wart is flat and that is why it is called a flat wart. The common victims of this wart are children and teenagers (which is where we get the term juvenile wart). In most cases, flat warts occur on the face or the forehead. Flat warts can also grow on the back of the hands, neck, and on the arms. These tiny bumps grow in clusters or groups and populate to over a hundred warts in a cluster. The color of the warts is comparable to the color of the skin with a mix of colors as pink, light brown and yellow. Unlike other warts, they are smooth to the touch and can barely be seen with the naked eye. HPV strains that specifically grow this wart are HPV strains 3, 10, 28 and 49. https://warts.org/flat-warts
Oral warts can appear anywhere within the oral cavity or on the lips and are generally not painful unless they have been irritated. Small and discrete, there is usually only one or a small number of them present at any one time. They appear to be rough and lumpy and they also disguise in many forms. They occur as thick growths; or as white, dome-shaped lesions, or they may be elevated growths that are flat on the top and are of the same color as the mucosa or the mucous membrane. Due to the increase in the incidence of oral sex in the past few decades, oral warts have become rampant. https://warts.org/oral-warts
Mosaic warts also are known as recalcitrant plantar warts and are cluster formations of plantar warts that create a mosaic-like image. As with any other plantar warts, they are often time mistaken to be a callous (just as vice versa, calluses may be mistaken for plantar warts). Mosaic warts have a low to moderate pain attached to them depending on how often you walk or stand. They also have tiny black spots that emerge on warts which are broken blood vessels.
Genital warts are lesions found on the genital parts of either the penis of a man or on the vagina of a woman (which are specifically known as vaginal warts). A genital wart appears to be, like other warts, cauliflower-like in form and is either gray, white, or the same color as your skin. It is highly contagious and is normally transmitted through sexual intercourse. You’ll know that you have genital warts when there is bleeding during sexual intercourse, constant itching on the genital area, or when you start seeing growths of something that resembles the head of cauliflower. HPV strains that cause almost all genital warts are HPV strains 6 and 11. While it is rare, these strains can develop into cervical cancer.
Furthermore, genital warts are broken down into 3 parts:
Men’s Warts (Found on Penis or taint)
These are a class of genital warts found on men.
Vaginal Warts (Found on ladies in or around Vaginal areas)
Genital warts found on females. https://warts.org/female-genital-warts
Anal Warts (Men or women around Anus, Rectum)
Warts found on the butt or in and around anus region. https://warts.org/anal-warts