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What are Flat Warts & Juvenile Warts?

Health Articles > Warts > Flat Warts

What are Flat Warts 

Flat warts, also called juvenile warts, are benign small, small growths on the skin that are typically skin-colored or slightly lighter than the surrounding skin and may be slightly raised. Flat warts are most commonly found on the face, neck, hands, and wrists, but they can also occur in other areas of the body. They are more common in children and adolescents than adults and are often found in large numbers. Flat warts are caused by infection with the highly contagious agents, and they can spread through direct contact with infected skin or using contaminated objects. Surgical treatment is usually unnecessary, but flat warts can be removed naturally or surgically if they are cosmetically undesirable or cause discomfort or irritation.

What Do Flat Warts Look Like?

Flat warts are tiny – only about the size of a pinhead – with smooth flat tops, slightly raised above the skin, and they often cluster together in one place, such as the face or the forehead but can also appear on the neck, arms, and hands. There may be a hundred or more in the same color as the skin, or they can be white.

Where Do Flat Warts Grow?

Flat warts are a type of wart that is relatively small and has a flat top. They are typically smooth and flesh-colored and may be slightly raised above the skin's surface. Flat warts can appear anywhere on the body, but they are most commonly found on the face, arms, and legs. They are caused by the highly contagious agent, which is a common virus that can affect the skin and mucous membranes. Flat warts are benign, meaning they are not malignant and not a cause for concern, but they can be unsightly and cause discomfort. Treatment for flat warts can vary depending on the size and location of the wart but may include over-the-counter creams, freezing, or surgical removal. It is always a good idea to consult with a doctor or healthcare provider if you have flat warts. 

Why Kids Get Warts—and How to Prevent Them

Flat warts are also known as juvenile warts because they are most often found in little children and young adults. Children tend to find warts on their skin because they often have scratches or cuts on their skin and are in close contact with other children. Young people beginning to shave hair are at increased risk of flat warts because of razor cuts to the face, neck, or legs. The warts are caused by a contagious but benign virus and are usually not painful. Also, flat warts are more likely to appear in children and young adults because as we grow older, our immune systems are better equipped to deal with the virus that causes warts.

What Causes Flat Warts? 

Warts are caused by highly contagious agents, of which there are well over a hundred strains. The strains of this virus numbered 3, 10, 28, and 49 are the ones that mainly cause flat warts. The virus (in the form of viral particles) needs a break in the skin (such as a scratch, small cut, or wound) to invade, grow and become a wart.

Once they have developed into warts (which can take up to a year), they are contagious to others and other parts of your body, particularly if you scratch yourself or spread them through shaving. You will often notice them in areas that are frequently shaved, such as women's legs and men's faces.

Flat warts cause no pain and are not harmful, so treating them is not always necessary because they will go away alone in time. They can be challenging to treat because they occur in such numbers and in areas where they can keep re-infecting themselves.

How to Keep Flat Warts From Spreading

Warts are caused by a virus and can be contagious. To avoid the risk of contracting or transmitting flat warts, you can try the following:

  • Steering clear of direct skin-to-skin contact with someone who has warts.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water regularly, especially after touching the wart or any other part of your body.
  • Avoid picking at or scratching the wart, as this can cause the virus to spread to other parts of your body or other people.
  • Keep the wart covered with a bandage or adhesive tape. This can help to protect the wart from being touched or scratched and can also help to prevent the virus from spreading to other people.
  • Avoid sharing personal items such as towels, razors, or nail clippers, as these can carry the virus.
  • If you have a wart on your foot, wear shoes or flip-flops in public places such as showers, locker rooms, or pool areas. This can help to prevent the virus from spreading to other people.

If you are concerned about your wart or if it is causing discomfort, it is best to consult a healthcare provider. They can assess the wart and recommend the best course of treatment, which may include medications or other procedures to remove it.

What Causes A Wart To Come Back?

A wart can come back if the virus that caused it is still present in your body. Highly contagious agents cause warts, and there are many different types. When infected with the wart agent, the virus can remain in the body for a long time, even after the wart has been treated and appears to be gone. In some cases, the virus may remain inactive and then reactivate, causing a new wart to form. This can happen even if the original wart was treated successfully and did not reappear for a long time. This usually happens because the virus that caused flat warts originally is still present in your system, and your immune system has not strengthened sufficiently to get rid of it.

How To Get Rid Of Flat Warts

There are several options for treating flat warts. These include:

  • Over-the-counter wart removal medications: These products contain salicylic acid, which can help to soften and remove the wart. They are available in gels, ointments, or pads and are applied to the wart according to the product's instructions.
  • Prescription medications: Your healthcare provider may prescribe a stronger medication, such as a cream or solution containing a higher concentration of salicylic acid, or a different type of medication, such as a retinoid or an immune system booster.
  • Cryotherapy: This procedure involves freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen. The freezing temperature kills the cells in the wart, causing it to fall off. A healthcare provider may perform cryotherapy in their office, or you may be given a cryotherapy kit to use at home.
  • Laser therapy: This procedure uses a laser to destroy the wart. Laser therapy is usually performed by a healthcare provider in their office and may require multiple treatments.
  • Surgical removal: In some cases, your healthcare provider may recommend surgically removing the wart. This can be done using a scalpel or another surgical instrument.
  • Natural wart remover: Natural wart products contain homeopathic ingredients with active ingredients, including Thuja occidentalis, that aid in the natural treatment of warts symptoms.

Following your healthcare provider's instructions for treating your flat wart is essential. If the wart does not respond to treatment, or if it persists or spreads, you should consult your healthcare provider for further evaluation and guidance.