Warts are benign growths caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Warts commonly appear in children and young adults, but can appear at any age.
There are several different kinds of warts including common warts, plantar (foot/mosaic) warts, and flat warts. Warts can be transmitted by direct contact, or indirectly through contaminated surfaces and objects, such as at a swimming pool or from a locker room floor.
Wart viruses occur more easily if the skin has been damaged in some way, which explains the frequency of warts in children who bite their nails or pick at hangnails.
Some people are just more likely to develop a wart than others. In children, warts can disappear without treatment over a period of several months to years. However, warts that are bothersome, painful, or multiplying rapidly should be treated. Warts in adults do not disappear as easily or as quickly as they do in children.
There are many treatments for warts, and treatment options depend on the age of the patient, as well as the location and type of the wart. There are some wart remedies that are available without a prescription, however, if you have any questions about either the diagnosis or the best way to treat a wart, you should seek your dermatologist’s advice.