Also termed as plane warts, verrruca 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,
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.
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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,
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.