Warts, small benign growths that appear on the skin, are communicable through direct contact with the lesion or with contact with a surface containing the human papilloma virus. However, they are not highly contagious, and not every person who comes into contact with the virus will develop warts. They are more common in children, teenagers, and people with compromised immune systems.

The shape and texture of warts can vary based on the type of wart and where they are located on the body. For instance, filiform warts, which are located on the face, tend to grow on a stalk and have a leaflike appearance. Flat warts, which grow on the face and along scratches, are smooth, flat, and brownish. Periungual warts, which occur where fingernails grow out of the skin, are thick and pitted. They also have the consistency of cauliflower. Plantar warts are flattened by pressure exerted on the foot and can look whitish, yellowish brown, or crusty. Although common warts can vary in appearance based on where they are located on the body, they are quite distinguishable from regular skin. They are usually irregularly shaped and they can be dark gray, light gray, brown, or yellow.

The type of wart can also influence type of treatment to be used. For instance, filiform warts tend to respond to surgical methods and cryotherapy. Flat warts can be effectively treated with tretinoin or a combination of tretinoin and imiquimod, tretinoin and benzoyl peroxide, or tretinoin and salicylic acid (if the wart is resistant to treatment). Periungal warts are more likely to respond to a combination of cryotherapy, tretinoin, and salicylic acid. Plantar warts are usually aggressively treated with a combination of surgical techniques, burning techniques, or cryotherapy. Common warts tend to respond more readily to cryotherapy, electrocautery, cantharidin, and salicylic acid treatments. Laser removal may be used for isolated lesions. Knowing the kind of wart can be very useful in determining an effective treatment. tazarotene cream uk

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