8 types of warts

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  • Common warts (verrucae vulgaris) – sharply demarcated, rough-surfaced, round or irregular, firm, light grey, yellow, brown or greyish-black tumours that measure 2 mm to 10 mm in diameter. They appear most often on sites subject to trauma (e.g. fingers, elbows, knees, face and scalp), but may spread elsewhere.
  • Digitate warts – horny and fingerlike, with pea-shaped bases; they appear on the scalp or near the hairline.
  • Periungual warts – around the finger nails. They can also occur in clusters. They are rough, irregular and elevated, and may extend under the nails, causing pain.
  • Filiform warts – long, narrow, small growths usually seen on the eyelids, face, neck or lips.
  • Flat warts – slightly raised, smooth, flat, yellow-brown lesions that occur more commonly in children and young adults, most often on the face (also on neck, chest, knees, hands, wrists or forearms) and along scratch marks through self-infection. They appear in groups of up to several hundred.
  • Warts with unusual shapes – most frequent on the head and neck, especially on the scalp and bearded region.
  • Genital warts – these can affect both men and women.
  • Plantar warts – warts, sometimes painful, on the soles of the feet.
Reviewed by Prof H.F. Jordaan, MBChB, MMed (Derm).
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