There may come a time when you find a wart on your body. Most likely, it won’t be a fun experience because really, who enjoys warts? There are many different kinds, like Plantar warts that you find on the bottom of your feet, or the common wart that is most often found on fingers and toes. Genital warts are seen only on the genitals or inside your mouth and are handled in a different way than other kinds. But what about warts that show up on the rest of your body? Flat warts are yet another type and are generally seen not only on your face and legs, but your arms as well.
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What Are They?
All warts in the human body are caused by HPV, or Human Papilloma Virus. You get it through tiny breaks in your skin where the virus enters, then settles into your skin’s epithelial layers. Once it decides to activate, the virus will replicate itself repeatedly, creating wart cells that build up to form a wart in a range of sizes. Sometimes you’ll just get one, and sometimes they’ll appear in groupings. Click here for more information about HPV warts.
Although there is no cure for HPV, there are many different ways to kill the warts it produces. There is vaccine, however, that can prevent you from ever getting HPV, but it is limited to the strains that produce genital warts. This is given to boys and girls ages 9-26.
What Do Arm Warts Look Like?
Flat warts are the most common type you’ll see on your arms.
- Color: Flat warts vary in color from pink to flesh colored.
- Size: They are usually small and sometimes elongated in an oval shape.
- Groups: Flat warts most often appear in groupings, close together.
- Appearance: Unlike the common wart, a flat wart has a flattened top and doesn’t stick out of the skin as much. However, they aren’t as flat as a plantar wart, which don’t stick up out of the skin at all.
Flat warts, like those found on your arms, can be spread easily through shaving. This makes them more prevalent on areas like the legs for women and the face for men. Some people shave their arms as well, which can make the warts spread. When a razor cuts across a wart, it picks up tiny pieces of it. The blades also knick tiny holes into the skin, that the wart particles can then get deposited into. This is how flat warts can spread from one location on your arm to another. If you have warts on your arm, avoid shaving the area until your warts are taken care of.
For a more detailed definition of flat warts, click here.
When you find them on your forearm
It may be irritating to have a wart on your arm. Shirt sleeves will rub against it, which can feel awkward and sometimes uncomfortable. If you’ve a wart on your forearm, wearing short sleeves can help alleviate the irritation.
Warts on your forearm will be treated the same way as warts on your elbow or upper arm. If you have a lot of hair on your arm, you may need to remove it before treatment. Waxing would be the best option in this case, as shaving the area can cut off a piece of the wart accidentally and spread it around to other areas of your skin.
Sometimes warts on your arm can be found all the way up to your armpit. These can be especially annoying, as your skin rubs together so much there. For more information on armpit warts, click here.
There’s good news when it comes to arm warts – you can always get rid of them! And there are many different ways to go about it:
- Surgical excision,
- At-home kits using salicylic acid or a freezing agent,
- Natural remedies,
- Laser Therapy,
Warts vs. Skin Tags
It can be confusing to identify whether the growth you’re dealing with is an actual wart or something else called a skin tag. Skin tags start to creep up more and more as a person ages, and are found in higher numbers in those with diabetes, and those who are overweight. These benign growths also stick up out of the skin, just like a wart does, and can be irritating.
Here’s some ways to identify a skin tag:
- Location: While warts can appear pretty much anywhere, skin tags usually stick to areas in skin folds, like armpits, elbows, neck folds, etc.
- Appearance: Both skin tags and warts stick out of the skin, but a tag has more of a stalk at its base. It’s also more in a flat, flap-like shape that can bend back and forth.
- Color: Skin tags are almost always skin-colored, while warts come in a variety of hues.
If you think you’ve got a wart on your arm, don’t try and cut it out yourself, even if it’s a small one. Using scissors, nail clippers, or a knife to remove the wart will cause you pain and damage to the skin, leading to scarring. You also run a much higher risk of infection and complications. Only a physician can know exactly how to cut out a wart and how deep to go to remove all wart cells. They also have all the tools necessary to do the procedure with the least amount of scarring and side effects.
Treatment for a skin tag is basically the same as a wart. You can choose from excision, cryotherapy, electrotherapy, or laser therapy.
When it comes to warts, there’s really no part of you that isn’t susceptible to them. But just because you get one, it doesn’t mean that you have to live with it. Treatment is just a drugstore or doctor’s office away, and just like that, you can get rid of those warts for good.