How to Identify a Wart

Of all the many growths that skin is subject, to a wart is usually one of the more benign. Only rarely does a wart turn malignant. A wart is caused by the human papilloma virus, which enters the skin through a cut or wound. They are contagious. Do you know the techniques to identifying a wart from something else?
A wart’s main drawback, of course, is that it’s unsightly and sometimes shows up on a part of the body that is conspicuous, like the face or the hands. When they’re on the hands they’re often found around the nail beds and the backs. Plantar warts, which grow on the soles of the feet, can be painful.
Given how many things can erupt on the skin, it’s not surprising that most people can’t tell a wart from other growths. Warts are usually the color of a person’s skin and feel rough to the touch. Some have what look like tiny black seeds in them. Plantar warts sometimes come in clusters and are often flat or ingrown because of the weight of the person walking on them.
Other sorts of warts are flat. These warts, though they’re smaller than other warts and feel smooth, also tend to grow in clusters. Filiform warts stick out from the skin and tend to grow on the face.
Anybody can get warts, but most people who get warts are children and people with compromised immune systems, like patients with HIV/AIDS. Warts in children usually go away on their own and should only be treated if they cause the child mental or physical discomfort. A dermatologist can treat a wart by applying cantharidin, which causes the wart to blister and die. Some warts are destroyed by cryotherapy, when the dermatologist applies a freezing probe to them. Sometimes warts are burnt off through electrosurgery, or they’re scraped off through a process called curettage. Lasers can also be used to vaporize the wart, or the wart can simply be cut out of the skin.
Some skin conditions that can be confused with warts are:
Acne
This very common skin condition is caused by a bacterial, not a viral, infection. Acne can come as whiteheads, blackheads, pustules, pimples, cysts or nodules.
Moles
Moles are often mistaken for warts and vice versa. Moles are areas of pigment on the body. They’re usually brown or black but can be many colors, including pink, blue, the same color as the surrounding skin, or they can have no color. They’re round, flat or a little raised and don’t change over time. Moles are different from warts in that if a skin cancer is going to develop it will probably be seem in a mole that has changed its symmetry, color, an diameter. Some moles that have become cancerous bleed or crust over and never really heal.
Molluscum Contagiosum

These are little bumps on the skin. Like warts, they’re caused by viruses and are contagious. They’re different from moles in that they’re flesh-colored and domeshaped, and they have a pearly or waxy look to them. They’re dimpled and painless, but sometimes itch. As with warts, people whose immune systems are weakened can have many mollusca.

Hopefully this has helped you understand the proper ways to identify warts from other common skin conditions.

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