Warts and the chest aren’t as common as they are on the hands or feet, but they do show up on occasion. They don’t have to ruin your summer outing during swim suit season though, since they are treatable with a little time and patience. Read the article below to learn what causes warts on the chest. You will also learn what different types of warts occur on this area of the skin and what other skin conditions cause similar lesions.
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What are Chest Warts And What Causes Its
Chest warts are lesions that appear on the chest caused by a very common virus. They can come in several different types and colors, depending on which type of the wart virus is causing them and what area of skin they are infecting. They often pop up in clusters and can require more extensive treatment when they do.
Just like warts on other areas of the body, they can be treated with different over the counter medicines or topical ointments. These warts can also spread to the back, infecting some rather hard to reach areas. If you notice that you are developing warts on the back as well, you can read more about how to treat them here.
Since warts are more likely to develop after severe skin irritation, infection from a cut or open wounds or from a depressed immune system, it’s important to protect your skin from harm. Healthy skin is much harder to infect with the HPV virus. Therefore, using sunscreen to prevent damage to your skin will help reduce your chances of HPV infection on your chest, which is often one of the first places to burn from overexposure to the sun.
All warts are caused by the HPV virus. It’s a very common virus that almost everyone contracts at some point in their life whether they show symptoms or not. Most warts pop up between three weeks and six months of exposure to the virus.
It is possible however, for the warts to lay quietly in hibernation for years before they suddenly pop up during an opportunistic moment. This could be when a person’s immune system is depressed for any number of reasons, or just because the skin became very irritated or mildly injured.
Warts can even come out of hibernation on people who have never shown signs of the infection before, so it’s usually difficult to figure out where the virus was caught. Once the skin is infected with HPV, it will always have the infection, although a healthy immune system will usually prevent recurrence of the symptoms.
There is More Than One Type
There are several types of warts that can occur on the chest:
- Common warts mostly show up on the hands, but they can occur anywhere on the body. They are raised, and usually the same color as the surrounding skin, but can occur in groups that look like a head of cauliflower.
- Flat warts usually show up on the face or legs, but like common warts can show up on the chest as well. In fact, flat warts are one of the more likely types to find on the chest. They tend to be flesh colored or brown-tinted, and most often show up in clusters almost totally covering a patch of skin. For more info about a flat warts check out this article.
- Filiform warts usually show up on eyelids or lips, but can rarely pop up on the chest as well. They are very raised and lumpy with oval shapes that are very small at the base. This can make them tempting to rip off, but it’s better to use a treatment that will kill the virus at the base instead, otherwise it will likely grow back. These warts often show up on the neck too, especially where the skin has more sun exposure. To learn more about warts on the neck and how to get rid of them, read this article.
I Have Red Warts on My Chest
Those red, fleshy bumps on the chest may be warts, or they can also be caused by other conditions:
- Keloids occur when the skin is scarred and heals in a raised bump instead of the normal looking flat, pale scare tissue. Keloids can be any number of colors depending on the tissue on which they form, and sometimes do appear as raised red bumps.
- Cherry angiomas are small, usually round red bumps with a flat top. They look much like a mole, but can be very bright red in appearance. Their growth is usually self-limiting. They tend to pop up in middle age and may increase in numbers, if not necessarily size, over time. These bumps are very common on the arms and torso.
- Very persistent acne can also get a red, scaly appearance that looks vaguely wart-like as well. If there’s puss in the middle, it’s not likely acne or another skin infection, not a wart.
That’s why it can be a very good idea to have a doctor check your lesions if you are not sure what you have. Once you do know that you have warts, they are easy enough to fix.
What if They are Black?
Some warts are black or very dark, and this isn’t usually a more dangerous condition. In fact, warts often tend to turn black before they finally die and disappear on their own. But, since warts grow so fast and cause very uneven and rapid skin growth, it’s a very good idea to have them checked out by a doctor. Many types of skin cancer can look like simple warts at first, and it’s always better to take the safe route than have cause for regret later.
Any time you notice a lesion on your chest or other part of your body that is growing very fast or changing color, it should be looked at by a doctor. While these lesions are usually not extremely dangerous, they can be caused by skin cancer as well. This is one of the most treatable cancers that a person can develop, but it must be caught early to prevent it’s spread.
Flat Warts on Chest
As stated above, flat warts are one of the most common kind to develop on the chest. Since they tend to be small in size but large in quantity, they can be very difficult to treat with salicylic acid or cauterization.
This is why it’s easier to use other methods to eliminate them such as:
They will also usually clear up on their own, but this can take several months to two years. This can be very frustrating, especially if the warts are on the breast where they interfere with wearing certain clothes. To learn how to eliminate warts on the breast, so you can get back to wearing your favorite v-neck or sweetheart necklines, read here.
Why Do I Have Genital Warts on My Chest?
It is very rare, but it can happen. While certain types of HPV tend to occur only on certain parts of the body, if one is exposed to genital warts through a cut or irritation on another part of the body, they can spread to less common places.
Infection can happen through hand to skin contact or direct genital to skin contact. This is why it is so important to use condoms for all types of sexual activity, not just intercourse. Condoms don’t provide 100% protection against the spread of genital warts because you can still contract it from the parts of the skin that aren’t covered by the condom. They do, however, reduce the risk so significantly that it is worth it to use them every single time.
Now that you know more about warts on the chest, what causes them and what other conditions may cause similar looking growths, we hope this takes some anxiety out of your condition. While they most often clear up on their own, there is no reason to suffer through an attack of HPV for an extended period of time. There are many over the counter creams or stronger treatments that your physician can offer to reduce healing time to a matter of days instead of weeks, months or years.