Also termed as plane warts, verruca plana, or juvenile warts, flat warts are considered benign tumors of the skin epidermis. Flat warts usually occur anywhere but more commonly on the face, arms, legs, and in beard areas in men. Just like any other warts, causes are attributed to Human Papillomavirus (HPV) particularly HPV-3, 10, and 28.
Compared to other warts, flat warts are smoother and smaller in size (as small as a pinhead). They grow singly but usually in clusters of 20-100 warts. Flat warts may appear to be flat, slightly elevated, and flesh-colored bumps. Children are more prone to these kind of warts, thus the term juvenile warts. Shaving irritation and inflammation may also attribute to these kind of warts.
Flat Warts: Complications
Being infected with any kind of warts has its own share of complications. Individuals having flat warts are mostly worried with the spreading of the disease. They may avoid having direct physical contact with people for they might contract the warts.
Upon removal of flat warts by certain treatments, scars may appear and retain in the new skin. Worst case scenario would be that of Keloid formation in few instances.
Although warts maybe physically removed, there is no guarantee of its non-recurrence. Most medical experts would assure of warts exterminated but not the virus causing them. Therefore, it would lead to factors of flat warts coming back after some period of time.
Flat Warts: Transmission
Generally, transmission of flat warts is through direct and close physical contact. Sometimes the virus-causing warts or HPV can be indirectly passed on to another person. Individuals continually sharing personal items like towels, most probably have the risk of acquiring flat warts.
As previously stated, flat warts may appear in any body part. This is because the virus causing these warts is highly contagious. The warts on your fingers may easily be transferred to your face, arms, or legs.
Flat Warts: Treatment
The extent of treatment depends on the severity of your warts. There several medical options to choose from, whether it maybe on medication or with surgery. Medication can sometimes fail to reach the virus causing warts due to the thick layers of the skin. Nevertheless, majority of the available skin treatments prove to be effective.
As opposed to genital warts, over-the-counter medications can be applied to flat warts. These treatments contain mild acids that somehow burn off the dead skin containing the wart. Special skin medications are also available for small warts. Usually, doctors do the first application of the medication to ensure that precautions are carefully followed. Careless application of skin medications may lead to injury of surrounding tissues.
For larger flat warts, surgery may be necessary to remove the lesions. A famous surgical option would be that of laser. Although laser surgery is expensive, it has proven to be effective. The warts are physically burned off with the laser treatment. Another alternative treatment would be cauterization. In this procedure, the affected tissue is destroyed with a hot instrument. This treatment is usually done in treating cancer cells.
In very rare cases, treatment of flat warts may not be needed. Patients may have experienced warts disappear from time to time. Yet, oftentimes the lesions appear again because the virus has not been totally eliminated.
Flat Warts: Prevention
Since there are no 100% effective remedies for warts, prevention is so far the best medicine. The virus causing warts are oftentimes contagious and one must avoid direct physical contact with infected persons. If unavoidably you get in contact with warts, it is recommended that you wash affected parts thoroughly.
There is as much danger in spreading the virus to other individuals as much as your other body parts contracting contagious warts. One may have successfully removed a wart by filing, but it would still not be enough. It is best to disinfect surrounding parts of the healed wound so as to prevent recurring of the warts.
Other Types of Warts: