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Health Information For Teens
Warts are tiny skin infections caused by viruses of the human papillomavirus (HPV) family. Although kids get warts most often, teens and adults can get them too. Sometimes warts are sexually transmitted and appear in the genital area. But most warts affect the fingers, hands, and feet.
Types of warts include:
Common warts. Usually found on fingers, hands, knees, and elbows, a common wart is a small, hard bump that’s dome-shaped and usually grayish-brown. It has a rough surface that may look like the head of a cauliflower, with black dots inside.
Flat warts. These are about the size of a pinhead, are smoother than other kinds of warts, and have flat tops. Flat warts may be pink, light brown, or yellow. Most flat warts are on the face, but they can grow anywhere and can appear in clusters.
Plantar warts. Found on the bottom of the foot, plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. You might feel like you’re walking on a small stone.
Filiform warts. These have a finger-like shape, are usually flesh-colored, and often grow on or around the mouth, eyes, or nose.
HPV viruses that cause warts can be passed from person to person by close physical contact or from touching something that a person with a wart touches, like a towel, bathmat, or a shower floor.
The length of time between when someone is exposed to an HPV
and a wart appears varies. But warts can grow very slowly and may take many months to develop.
Warts are different in different people. In time, many warts disappear on their own.
With treatment, warts can usually be removed within a few weeks, but they may come back if the virus causing them stays in the skin.
Warts can be treated in various ways:
Within a few days after treatment by a doctor, a small wart will usually fall off, although you may need more than one treatment. Treatment may take longer for larger warts.
Over-the-counter treatments may take longer than the doctor’s office treatments, but can be used as initial treatment on the hands or feet. Your doctor may also tell you to use OTC treatments after you’ve had an in-office procedure.
You might also have heard that you can use duct tape to remove a wart. Talk to your doctor about whether this type of home treatment is OK for you.
Most warts can handled at home:
Not all warts can be prevented. But it’s always a good idea to wash your skin regularly and well. If you cut or scratch your skin, be sure to use soap and water because open wounds are more at risk for warts and other infections.
It’s also a good idea to wear waterproof sandals or flip-flops in public showers, locker rooms, and around public pools (this also can help protect against other infections, like athlete’s foot).
If you do have a wart, don’t rub, scratch, or pick at it or you may spread the virus to another part of your body or cause the wart to become infected.
Although many warts disappear on their own with time, it’s a good idea to show your wart to a doctor, who can recommend a treatment method if you need one.
If you discover a wart on your face or on your genital area, call your doctor. He or she can determine the best treatment for those areas, which are very sensitive.
Also call the doctor if a wart or the skin around it is:
You’ve probably heard lots of discouraging news about sexually transmitted diseases. The good news is that STDs can be prevented. Find out how to protect yourself.
Did you know that the most important thing you can do to keep from getting sick is to wash your hands? If you don’t wash your hands frequently, you can pick up germs from other sources and then infect yourself.
You’ve probably heard lots about sexually transmitted diseases. The good news is that STDs can be prevented. For information on how to protect yourself and how to treat genital warts, read this article.
Germs are tiny organisms that can cause disease – and they’re so small that they can creep into your system without you noticing. Find out how to protect yourself.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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