Except acne, common warts (verruca vulgaris) are the most common dermatological disorder. Warts are skin changes that occur due to human papillomavirus infection in the epidermis of the skin. HPV causes epithelial hyperplasia and various changes in the cells. They can be found as individual changes in the skin or mucous membranes Appearance and size of warts depend on where they are found, they can change the appearance because of trauma and skin irritation.
Three out of four persons, will get common warts at some point in life. Warts are spread quickly and can be transferred to other parts of the body by touching or shaving around the infected area. Children and young people are more prone to the outbreak of warts because they do not have a fully developed defense mechanisms, even though anyone can get warts regardless of age.
Common warts are small, hard, rough growths, rounded shape and a raised skin surface, usually in diameter less than 12 mm. Very often in the middle with small black dots.. They usually appear on the hands and fingers, and may be flesh-colored, white, pink or streaked. Warts can last for years, but their duration is variable as well as the duration of their treatment.
After a few months treatment can lead to complete withdrawal of warts, but they can be present for years, and can eventually occur elsewhere. Warts very often disappear spontaneously. It is not known immune mechanism that leads to the withdrawal of warts, but it is known that persons whose immune system is weakened due to eg. organ transplantation or HIV infection can cause generalized skin lesions caused by HPV.
Unlike other types of warts, common warts most often grow in places that are frequently injured, such as the fingers, hands, around the nails, knees, face and scalp. Common warts may spread, but common warts are never cancerous. They need to be removed for health and aesthetic reasons.