Here are some common types of warts:
- Flat warts are smooth flat slow growing warts with a rough appearance typically occurring on the face, neck, knees and wrists
- Filiform warts are long narrow flesh coloured warts on face and neck
- Plane warts are often found on the hands fingers and toes and can look like a small cauliflower
- Verrucas are a type of wart that occur on the soles of the feet, they appear flat with a black centre and can cause pain when you walk
- Genital Warts are greyish flesh coloured warts with a cauliflower type appearance found in the anal and genital areas.
Are they contagious?
The HPV virus that causes warts can be passed on to someone through direct contact such as shaking someone’s hand or indirect contact such as, sharing towels, clothes and walking barefoot on a changing room floor.
What If I have Been In Contact With Someone With Warts?
If you have been in contact with someone with warts the chances of catching warts are higher if there is a point of entry for the virus into the skin, such as skin cuts, abrasions or scratches on your hands and feet.
How Can I Reduce The Risk Of Getting Warts And Spreading them?
It’s always good to maintain good hygiene by avoiding direct skin to skin contact with someone who has warts and to avoid sharing towels and wearing socks or flip flops in changing rooms and using a condom during sex. If you already have them, to reduce the risk of more lesions and spread avoid scratching your warts, biting nails or sucking fingers where they are present.
Are they Harmful?
If you are healthy with no other medical problems then warts are not harmful and do not lead onto any serious medical problems. However if you have lower immunity to fight infections such people with HIV and those receiving cancer treatment, you should contact your specialist medical doctor for specific treatment and advice. There is a link between anal warts, cervical warts and cancer.
Can they Cause Cancer?
There are over 130 different forms of HPV virus and most of them are low risk. Most warts are harmless, and only a very small number of these viruses have been linked to cancer, these are mainly in the cervical or anal area. The risk is small; however you should contact your GP or local Sexual Health Clinic if you have concerns about cervical, anal or Genital Warts.