Warts are growths in the skin that are caused by certain types of the human papillomavirus (HVP). HPV has over a hundred of known types. Most of these infect that skin's topmost layer and enters the body through broken skin areas. Those that are on top of the skin grow quickly and form a wart. Most of these go away without any treatment after several months to a few years. These warts can grow in any part of the body. They mostly affect children and young adults.
There are five different kinds of warts that appear on different parts of the body. The first type is the common wart, a dome-shaped grayish-brown wart that usually forms on the hands. Another type is the flat wart, which you can find on the face, arms and legs. This is small, flat and pink, yellow or light brown in color. Filiform warts form around the nose, mouth and beard area. They look like there's a thread sticking out of the skin growth. Peringual warts are rough bumps that form under the fingernails and toenails.
Finally, there's what they call plantar warts. These are hard thick patches that grow on the soles of the feet. They cause pain and discomfort while walking, making it seem like you're stepping on a pebble. It's easy to detect if you have plantar warts because aside from the appearance of rough and uneven patches on the soles of the feet, you'll also experience pain and discomfort whenever there is pressure from walking or pushing that pushes the wart beneath the surface of the skin. Plantar warts can develop in a flat cluster called mosaic wart.
Of course, you'll need to go to the doctor to confirm if you do have plantar warts or any other type of wart. A doctor can diagnose what type of wart you have just by looking at it. He/she may also take a sample of the wart and examine it under the microscope. This is called skin biopsy and it is used to confirm the diagnosis. This is also done if the growth is darker the skin around it, if it is an irregular patch, if it bleeds, or if it is growing rapidly.
Most skin growths don't require any treatment. However, if your warts are painful or spreading or if you're not comfortable about their appearance, you can have them treated with home remedies or medical treatment. For one, you can use salicylic acid, which you can buy from the drugstore without any prescription. You may also choose to have wart frozen through cryotherapy. Removal of the wart through electrosurgery, curettage, laser surgery may also be done.
It's important to note that these treatment methods are not always successful. It's possible that after a wart goes away or shrinks, it may come back and spread to other parts of the body. This is because these treatments only removes or destroys the wart but not the virus that's causing it.