Types of Warts & Treatments

Warts are unsightly rough growths. Some are caused by ageing and sun exposure such as Seborrhoeic Keratosis but most are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), of which there are over 100 different types. Any area of the skin could be affected, but warts are more commonly found on the hands (especially the fingers), feet and face. Warts on the soles of the feet are known as verruca’s and are also caused by the Human Papilloma Virus.

Up to one in 10 people will develop a wart at some point in their life, most commonly in childhood or adolescence. Warts and verrucas are usually harmless but can be contagious, but the risk of you catching them is low. Warts usually spread from direct skin contact or in damp places, like swimming pools and communal showers. If you scratch a wart, the viral particles may spread to other areas of your skin.

Different types of warts vary in appearance and size, ranging from 1mm up to 5cm in the case of a Seborrhoeic Keratosis. The vast majority of warts can easily and successfully be treated with ACP and radio surgery. Warts can develop either individually or in clusters.


Seborrhoeic keratosis outbreakSeborrhoeic Wart (Seborrhoeic Keratosis, Basal Cell Papilloma)

Though referred to as a wart, seborrhoeic warts are not caused by athe HPV virus. They are a flat thick build up of epidermal cells with a rough texture and sometimes resembling a miniature cowpat. They can be skin colour through to black, and can grow up to two inches across. They’re sometimes referred to as ‘Senile’ warts, as they are more associated with age.

Older people sometimes have them on their face, but they are more common on the torso. If there are many in one area they can even merge together. The longer they are left untreated the more established they become, as they set down fibrous attachments into the skin. Once removed though, new fresh skin will emerge. These are 1 of 3 blemishes which we recommend are treated sooner rather than later. The others being blood spots and age spots.


filiformFiliform wart

Filiform warts are quite unique and like no other wart in their appearance. They tend to appear on the neck and face and in particular around the eyelids, lips, and neck, making them hard to hide as well as accept. They are not your normal raised and round warts, instead they appear to look more like small twigs or branches that are growing out of your skin. Their appearance is long, narrow and they have a flesh colour to them.

What is most noticeable about Filiform warts is the speed and aggression with which they attack. They usually spread quickly and if left untreated can get worse over time. They can very easily and quickly be removed.



plane wartPlane Warts

Plane warts are the simplest of all warts. These are usually small, smooth and skin or brownish coloured lesions, which are slightly raised from the skin. They usually occur on the face and outer surface of hands. They’re most common in children and young adults. Common warts are larger and firmer elevations with a rough surface and usually occur on the hands, forearm, knees and feet.

The following are some common examples of different types of wart.


ocmmon warts on fingerCommon Wart – Verruca Vulgaris

These are firm, raised growths with a rough surface, which sometimes resemble a very small cauliflower. They are most commonly found on the backs of your hands, fingers, toes and on your knees. They also often feature a pattern of tiny black dots sometimes called seeds. These are small, clotted blood vessels.

Common warts are viral and therefor transmitted by direct or indirect touch. Children and young adults are more likely to develop common warts, as are people who have weakened immune systems. Common warts usually disappear on their own but this may take a couple of years. So, many people choose to remove them because they find them irritating or embarrassing.

periungual wartsPeriungual Warts

These are warts around or under the nail. They generally start out as small raised bumps that are not easily seen by the naked eye. This is especially true when they begin to form underneath the edge of the finger or toe nail. However, as they grow patients soon notice rough-looking bumps with non-uniform edges. Periungual warts tend to take on the appearance of small cauliflowers as they grow and spread. Sometimes they can occur in clusters.

Left untreated, periungual warts underneath the nail can begin to push up on it and cause mild to moderate pressure. The pressure becomes painful if the nail experiences even the lightest touch. Should these warts grows large enough, its size could even cause the nail to permanently detach. Although this is uncommon, it can happen, and is likely to cause permanent nail damage and scarring.


verucca wartVerruca – Plantar Wart

These are usually found on the soles of your feet. They are robust hardy critters that are resistant to many other treatments. Often a verruca will resemble a callus because of its tough, thick tissue. Walking and/or standing may be painful and squeezing the sides of the wart may also cause pain. Tiny black dots may be visible in them and these often appear on the surface of the wart. The dots are in fact dried blood contained in the capillaries (tiny blood vessels).

Plantar warts grow deep into the skin. Usually this growth occurs slowly, with the wart starting small and becoming larger over time. Left untreated they may spread and form satellite warts, or worse, whole closely formed clusters called ‘mosaic’ warts.

mosaic wartsMosaic Wart

These are usually a number of verrucas packed together in a small area, often on your hands and feet. Can be very uncomfortable especially when on the feet.

See Verruca section directly above for further information.




genital wartsGenital Warts (We cannot treat these)

These are usually caused by different types of HPV. They can spread from other parts of the body, or most often by sexual contact. You may feel soreness or irritation around the area. See your GP or go to a sexual health clinic for further advice.




Taking the following precautions can help prevent warts and verrucas

  • Try not to touch other people’s warts.
  • Don’t share your towels, shoes or socks with someone who has a wart.
  • Wear flip-flops in communal showers.
  • Cover your wart with a plaster or glove.
  • Don’t scratch or pick your wart as it is more likely to spread.

Wart Removal & Treatment in Winchester

We can treat many different kinds of warts using Advanced Cosmetic Procedures and Cryo Therapy. Please note that viral warts may take several treatments to clear and persistence is the key to eliminating them. We have clients who visit us for specialist skin treatments such as treatment for warts from all over the UK including Southampton, Portsmouth,London, Bristol, Bath, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Reading in Berkshire, and Esher in Surrey Call us today for a consultation on 01962 809937

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