All about Warts: genital, plantar, flat, vulgar and filiform


What is wart?

Warts are signs that appear on the skin, caused by the Human Papillomavirus (the famous HPV ). They can appear in various parts of the body, such as the face, neck, hands, feet and genitals.

There are five types of warts, all caused by different HPV variations. The viral subtype that affects one part of the body does not usually affect another.

Amazingly, warts are contagious and can be transmitted from person to person, through direct contact. Therefore, to prevent it, it is essential not to touch someone’s warts without wearing gloves or washing your hands afterwards.

Although they are simple problems that rarely cause complications, warts affect self-esteem , cause discomfort, may require surgical procedures for removal and, without treatment, take years to go away.

Types of warts

Warts are divided into different types according to their location on the body.

According to this criterion, the types of warts are:

Flat wart

Flat warts are usually small – hardly more than 4 millimeters in diameter.

The surface of this type of wart is usually soft, yellow or brown in color. It usually appears on the face.

Plantar wart

Plantar warts usually appear in a very peculiar place: the soles of the feet . Therefore, it is common for them to be confused with corns. They are also known as fisheye , thanks to their appearance.

This type of wart is usually round and yellow, with small black dots in the middle.

Common wart

Also known as a periungual wart, the common wart usually appears on the fingers and toes, especially around the nails. In more rare cases, they may appear on the scalp, elbow and knees.

They are usually skin-colored or covered with a thin, whitish layer.

Genital wart

As the name suggests, these warts usually appear on Organs genitals, both male and female.

Filiform wart

Filiform warts are more common in people over 60. They mostly appear on the face and neck. They can be reddish or pink, and usually manifest as a large, lumpy tip.


All warts are skin phenomena caused by the Human Papillomavirus, better known as HPV .

Calm! There is no need to panic. Although HPV is known to cause cancer – especially in the cervix – it is important to note that there are more than 150 variations of the virus, and most of them do not cause serious diseases.

Each type of HPV is prone to attack certain parts of the body, when it may have no effect on another. The variation in the virus that causes warts to appear on Organs genitals, for example, is not the same that causes warts on the face.


Warts are transmitted from person to person, through direct contact.

This means that if you touch someone else’s warts, or even objects that they have passed over the wart – such as a towel, for example – you can also contract the HPV variation that caused the problem and develop warts.

The risk of contracting a wart is especially high among people who have low immunity or have a disease that affects the functioning of the immune system.

It is also possible to transmit warts from one part of the body to another.

If you touch a wart that was born in your hand and then touch another part of the body that is susceptible to that type of HPV, the warts can also appear in this new place.

Risk factors

Although all people are subject to developing some type of wart throughout their lives, some characteristics make specific groups more prone to the problem.

Are they:

Risk factors for warts in general

To be a child

Children still have their immune systems developing, so they have less resistance to the appearance of warts.

This vulnerability, in general, begins to diminish in adolescence. However, it can extend to 21 years.

Having HIV or autoimmune disease

Any problem that impairs the full functioning of the immune system opens the door to viral infections – so-called opportunistic diseases.

HPV is one of those viruses that takes advantage of breaches in the immune system of a certain individual to establish and proliferate. For this reason, people with HIV or autoimmune diseases tend to be more susceptible to the appearance of warts in relation to the rest of the population.

Being pregnant

Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy can affect the immune system, making pregnant women more susceptible to infections with certain types of viruses.

Risk factors for plantar warts

Walk barefoot

Walking without shoes – especially in public places – is the main way to contract a variation of HPV that causes warts on the feet.

Having sores on the feet

Wounds are the gateway to various types of viruses and microorganisms, including the HPV subtypes that cause warts.

Have dry skin on the soles of the feet

Dry skin favors the appearance of cracks and wounds in the long run, which can favor the entry of viruses and thus cause warts.

Risk factors for genital warts

Having unprotected sex

Not using a condom during sexual intercourse is the main way to become susceptible to HPV infection (and to all other sexually transmitted diseases as well), and, consequently, to develop genital warts .

Having multiple sexual partners

Clinically, when it comes to the dangers of having sex with multiple people, the issue is not moral, but statistics and probability.

The greater your number of partners and / or partners, the greater the chances that you will come into contact with the HPV virus and contract genital warts – not to mention other STDs.

Having sexually transmitted diseases

Having an STD means that, somehow – possibly having sex without a condom – you have been susceptible to contracting this type of disease.

Therefore, once you are diagnosed with an STD, it is important to be tested or tested for all, including HPV.

Risk factors for filiform warts

Being elderly

As people age, the skin progressively loses its ability to regenerate, becoming more susceptible to the proliferation of the type of HPV that causes filiform warts.

Therefore, this type of wart is more common in people over 60 years of age.


In general, warts are usually completely asymptomatic. The exceptions are genital warts and plantar warts, which can cause some minor discomfort.

In addition to the appearance of the sign itself, genital warts can also cause itching in the affected region. People with plantar warts may experience pain when walking.

Do you paint, stain or mole? Know the difference!

Signs that appear on the skin can look very similar to each other. So it is natural not to be sure if what appeared on your body overnight is a mole, stain or mole.

If you have doubts about the appearance of a small sign on the skin, the best solution is always to consult a dermatologist. But some basic features of moles, blemishes and warts can help you find out what problem is affecting you.


The spots are tiny marks, with dark coloring (almost bordering on black), and with a different texture of the skin, that you can feel when you run your hands over them.

In addition, the spots generally do not change in size or shape over time.


The stains are usually lighter and larger in relation to the spots. Normally, they also have the same texture as the skin.

It is more common for spots to appear on parts of the body that are exposed to the sun, especially on the face and arms.


Warts are high lumps, which bounce off the skin. They are irregular, have a specific coloring and can have various shapes.

Warts can appear on different parts of the body. Some can even be organized in small colonies – that is, with several warts next to each other.

How is warts diagnosed?

Generally, the diagnosis of warts will be made by the doctor through the clinical examination, that is, with an analysis made in the office, during the consultation.

To reinforce the diagnosis, the professional can order a blood test, which should confirm the presence of the HPV virus in the patient’s body.

Diagnosis of genital warts

The process for diagnosing genital warts is a little more in-depth and complex. This is because some HPV variations that cause the appearance of ulcerations in Organs genitals can cause vaginal, penile and cervical cancers, among others.

For this reason, if a patient presents with a picture of genital warts, in addition to a simple consultation, the doctor may request other tests, such as:

Pap smear

Popularly known as a preventive exam , this procedure must be performed every year by sexually active women.

With the help of a spatula and a brush, the doctor takes samples of the cervix that will be sent for laboratory analysis.

Hybrid capture

As in the case of the pap smear, the hybrid capture takes and analyzes samples from the cervix, as well as from the vaginal walls. It is specifically used to identify the variation in HPV that is causing genital warts.


With the help of a diagnostic imaging device called a colposcope, the healthcare professional analyzes lesions located on the cervix – which may include warts.


Peniscopy is an exam used to detect and analyze lesions that are located on the entire tip of the penis, including those that are not visible to the naked eye.

When to see a doctor?

Studies show that about 60% of warts disappear on their own, without the need for treatment. This natural healing process, however, can take months or even years.

In the meantime, you can transmit your warts to other people or even to other parts of your own body. Therefore, it is important to seek appropriate medical treatment.

In addition, if your wart has some specific characteristics, it is essential to seek professional help as soon as possible.

See a doctor as soon as possible if:

  • You have genital warts;
  • You are not sure whether the mark that appeared on your skin is a wart or not;
  • You are applying any type of treatment on your wart and you do not see any signs of improvement after 2 months;
  • You are experiencing pain, stitches or a throbbing sensation in your wart;
  • Note the appearance of welts and / or red lines coming out of your wart;
  • Note the appearance of a reddish circle around the wart;
  • Note the appearance of pus and / or other secretions on your wart;
  • You have a fever;
  • You have diabetes, HIV or autoimmune diseases and notice the appearance of warts;
  • You are over 60 and have warts on your skin for the first time.

Does wart have a cure?

Yes , warts are curable. However, it is important to remember that the cause of warts is an HPV infection.

There are currently no treatments for HPV . However, if your immune system is strong enough, you will have the ability to expel the virus on your own eventually.


It is common for warts to disappear on their own – especially in young children. However, this process can take up to two years. Until then, you can continue transmitting the warts. So it is important to treat them.

Home treatments for warts

Because it is a simple problem, it is common for patients to bet on homemade methods to care for warts.

But beware! Most of these treatments have no proven effectiveness. So, to be absolutely sure that your warts will go away in the near future, the best strategy is to always consult a doctor and follow the professional’s recommendations.


Garlic is known to be a natural antiviral, antifungal and antibiotic. Thanks to this variety of attributes, its healing properties end up being used as a home treatment for various diseases, including warts.

To use garlic as an ally in combating warts, keep an eye on the following steps:

  1. Separate a clove of fresh garlic;
  2. Rub the garlic on a small part of the skin (preferably away from the wart) and wait. If after a few minutes there is no sign of redness or allergy at the site, you can proceed. Otherwise, give up the garlic treatment immediately;
  3. Wash the wart with soap and warm water. Then, dry well with the aid of a cotton towel;
  4. Crush the garlic clove on a properly cleaned and sanitized surface;
  5. Apply the clove of garlic to the wart and then place a bandage on the area;
  6. Repeat the procedure once a day. The results should start to appear in a period that varies from 6 days to 3 weeks.


Onions are usually a good choice for homemade wart treatments thanks to their nourishing properties, which can contribute to the improvement of dozens of diseases.

The method of application is similar to that of garlic: a piece of onion must be crushed and placed on the wart, already properly sanitized, and fixed with a bandage.

Repeat the procedure once a day, changing the onion and the bandages.


Vinegar has properties that promote the death of harmful microorganisms through acidity. So it is an effective method to treat warts.

To use this treatment, just soak a cotton ball with a little white vinegar, place it on the wart and secure it with a tape. Leave to act for about two hours, then remove and clean the area with soap and water.

Repeat the procedure once a day.

Banana Peels

The potassium present in banana peels can act directly on warts, reducing their size considerably.

To bet on this treatment, just place a small piece of banana peel on the wart every night, before going to sleep, and secure it with a bandage. Leave to act and remove the next morning. Then wash the wart with soap and water.

Repeat the procedure daily.

Scotch tape

The adhesive tape method is widespread as a successful home treatment for the treatment of warts. There are several reports of people who have been successful with this tactic, although no one can explain exactly why the tape helps to reduce the size of warts.

A study published by the American institution American Family Physician confirmed the success of the treatment of duct tape applied to small warts in 85% of the cases.

To use the method, you need to follow a few steps:

  1. Buy a roll of silver tape – a type of silver tape;
  2. Glue a small piece of adhesive tape over the wart;
  3. Before going to sleep, remove the tape and let the wart breathe until dawn;
  4. Put a new piece of tape on tomorrow and leave it all day;
  5. Repeat the procedure for 7 days;
  6. At the end of the week, remove the tape and immerse the wart in warm water for a few minutes;
  7. Finally, sand the region of the wart, removing the leftover skin that will have risen in the region.

Surgery for warts

In adults, it is common for medical advice to be for specific procedures for removing warts.

To date, the most common indication is cryotherapy, but other methods can also be chosen by the professional, according to their case.


Cryotherapy is a procedure that consists of freezing the wart by applying nitrogen at a temperature of more than 150 degrees below the bump.

The substance kills the tissues around the wart, causing it to fall off within a week.

Nowadays, cryotherapy is the most used procedure in adults for the treatment of warts.


Cauterization of warts is done through the use of electrical impulses. For this, a microscopic probe is used, which gives small shocks to the protuberance, killing the tissues that compose it.

Surgical excision

Surgical excision used to be the most widely used method to remove warts a few years ago. Currently, the procedure has already lost that position to more modern operations – especially cryotherapy.

This surgical treatment is the method that most patients have already wanted to perform: cut the wart and make a skin graft in place.

Surgical excision surgery for warts, however, is considered an obsolete method because it can cause cosmetic and health complications – including infections, scars and skin blemishes.


Laser removal is usually an option for large warts, or those that do not go away after undergoing conventional treatment methods.

This treatment consists of using high-temperature laser beams to kill the warts tissue. However, as it requires the application of general or local anesthesia and poses a risk of postoperative complications (such as infections and pain, for example), it is recommended only in very specific cases.

Remedies for warts

The main substance used in the treatment of warts is salicylic acid. Creams and remedies based on this component are usually indicated by doctors, especially for the elderly, children and people who cannot be exposed to other types of treatment (individuals with diabetes , for example).

Among the medications that can be prescribed by the doctor in case of warts, are:

  • –  Verrux ;
  • –  Duofilm ;
  • –  Duofilm Plantar ;
  • – Callotrat;
  • –  Kalonat .


NEVER self-medicate or stop using a medication without first consulting a doctor. Only he will be able to tell which medication, dosage and duration of treatment is the most suitable for his specific case. The information contained in this website is only intended to inform, not in any way intended to replace the guidance of a specialist or serve as a recommendation for any type of treatment. Always follow the instructions on the package insert and, if symptoms persist, seek medical or pharmaceutical advice.

Living together

Although warts can have bad effects on your self-esteem, it is important to keep in mind that, in general, they do not cause any more serious health complications.

It is important to talk to a doctor and treat them properly, so that you do not pass the problem on to others. If you live with babies, children, the elderly and people with problems that affect the immune system, your responsibility for this should be even greater.

If you are over 60, it is also important to discuss with your doctor whether the sign that has appeared on your skin is really a wart. Talk about the possibility of ruling out other problems – like skin cancer, for example.


Warts are simple problems that do not usually cause more serious complications. The exception is for pregnant women and people with diseases such as diabetes, AIDS and other problems that affect the immune system.

Complications in patients with immunosuppressive diseases

Immunosuppressive diseases are those that affect the full functioning of the immune system.

In individuals with this type of problem, warts – a simple nuisance in people with healthy immune systems – can evolve and become malignant signs, which can later turn into cancer.

However, this type of complication is rare. If you have this type of disease and you have a wart condition, it is important to discuss the possibility of the condition evolving with your doctor.

Complications in pregnant women

Pregnant women who have genital warts need to be extra careful and seek medical advice. This is because any sign, ulceration or lump in the genital region can make normal delivery difficult (or even impossible).

There is also a small possibility that warts are transmitted to the baby at birth.

How to prevent warts?

Don’t touch other people’s warts

Touching someone else’s wart is the main way to get one for you, so avoid it.

If it is really necessary to touch someone else’s wart – to apply a medication, for example – the use of gloves is essential.

Do not share objects

Do not share personal items that may be touching someone else’s wart, such as socks, underwear, panties and gloves, for example.

Don’t cut your warts on your own

Cutting the wart may seem like a good plan to get rid of it, but don’t even think about it.

Extracting a wart without proper medical advice can cause the HPV virus to spread to other locations, causing new warts to be born – yes, warts. In plural.

Don’t get your own warts

Touching your own warts may seem harmless, but don’t forget that it is possible to carry the virus to other parts of your body and increase the problem.

So whenever you touch your warts, make sure you are wearing gloves or washing your hands well afterwards.

Wear slippers

Wearing slippers in public places is a great way to avoid plantar warts. Pay special attention to beaches and public pools, where humidity can favor the proliferation of viruses.

Inspect children’s feet

Children are more susceptible to contracting warts. For this reason, it is important to inspect their feet whenever possible – especially after walking in places such as squares, playgrounds and swimming pools.

Although uncomfortable, warts are simple problems that do not usually cause any serious complications.