The Hidden Dangers of Flat Warts: Safe Treatment and Removal

The Hidden Dangers of Flat Warts

Flat warts and acne are some of the most frequent dermatological problems, mostly in teenagers and young people. Although they are almost harmless, warts affect the physical aspect and they can produce discomfort. Even if you think it is not annoying as it is in a less visible part of the body, it is better to be sure you are dealing with a simple problem.

Types of warts

  1. Simple – in most of cases, we are talking about flat warts on legs, on the back of the hand and on the face. If left untreated for a long time, they may provoke lesions and inflammations of the skin
  2. Genital warts – situated in the axillar area, around the anus or on the penis
  3. Toes warts – sometimes painful as they most likely come with verruca
  4. Nails flat warts – usually appearing at the sides of the nails and between the leg fingers
  5. Flat warts – usually appearing in children and teenagers, they are slightly pink, sometimes brown, painful and with many nodules. They have the dimension of a small grape or even bigger

There are more than 70 types of HPV viruses causing warts. Different types of viruses have the tendency to cause warts in different parts of the body. They easily spread in contact with lesions of papilloma. They can be transmitted by touching the warts and then touching other parts of the body. Other people can also catch the disease by using towels, shaving blades, and other personal objects in common. The infection of HPV is also favored by shaving the inguinal area.

It was proven that the infection appears through contact with contaminated objects, or by direct contact. If you spend a lot of time in extremely humid or extremely dry places, you will have more chances of getting warts.

After the initial contact, the virus can remain inactive or latent on the skin, and there are some situations in which there are no visible symptoms. This means that many people can be affected by HPV without even knowing. After being exposed to the papilloma virus, a period of 2-9 months passes until the wart can be seen with the naked eye. After that, they will start being visible on the skin and become dangerous. This is why it is good to treat warts as soon as they appear.

Why flat warts are more dangerous than normal warts

A flat wart may incubate for weeks or even months. Usually, painful papules with a dirty grey color grow on the skin. Flat warts mostly appear in children, and they are benign in the majority of cases. As they first show as a simple wart and they are not painful, you can try to heal them with natural remedies. When you suspect that you suffer from more than a common wart, such as a flat wart, you need urgent consultation of a medic to determine the cause and to establish the right treatment.

What you need to know about flat warts

Almost 50% of warts disappear after two years at most, without any kind of treatment being necessary. Considering that a virus causes flat warts, in some time, the organism develops specific anti-bodies to eliminate them, and, eventually, they will disappear. However, it is a big mistake just to wait without changing your habits or without ‘helping the process’, even if you don’t want to consult a doctor about them.  Especially for teenagers, the skin becomes more resistant to warts if ‘helped’ by a treatment against warts.

Types of flat warts and where they appear

The most dangerous flat warts may lead to complications, so it is better to follow a rigorous flat warts treatment as soon as you suspect your wart is more than a usual inconvenience. The flat warts are painful and they can bleed if kicked. They can have a very unpleasant aspect and they become really embarrassing, such as flat warts on your face and hands. The flat warts removal treatment will aim to stop the spreading of flat warts, and then to heal them. Depending on the specifications of the doctor, the treatment is different considering the type of a flat wart. The immune system of the body will be able to fight the normal warts and bruises remained after an eventual treatment.  

  1. Vulgaris verrucae

A type of flat wart growing on the thick tissue, painful and benign. They usually look like small swellings, their shape looking like the one of cauliflower. They usually grow in the area of nails, on fingers and palms, but they can also be found on knees and face, especially where the surface of the skin was previously scratched.

  1. Verucca plantaris

A flat wart appearing mostly on legs, which is soft, and can be identified as formation breaking the usual pattern of the skin. They can have a rough aspect, the shape of a swallowing, can have pores, compact, or may have the aspect of scales.  If left untreated, they gain an unpleasant aspect and become painful.

Usually, they have bigger dimensions than the usual warts, forming points of pressure on knees and toes. Those flat warts are the result of pressure of the foot while walking. On the surface of this wart, you will see some black dots that are not the roots of the wart as some might believe. The black dots are caused by the wart bleeding while pressured.

  1. Watery flat warts (‘mollusca contagiosa’)

Lesions that can be found mostly in children. They are usually considered simple warts and ignored. They grow in the shape of a sphere, white or transparent, with a watery composite and a small dent in the middle. Unlike other types of warts, their surface is smooth when touched. They are caused by another virus, the so called ‘poxivirus’. They can usually grow on the abdomen, on back and legs. Most often, they are on the face. Those can develop into big formations especially if they appear as a bunch.

  1. Flat warts on face (verruca plana)

Those are flat, barely visible on the face and they appear as a coloration of the skin in brown and white. They appear in great numbers, from 20 to 100 at once and can be localized everywhere on the chin, neck and cheeks. They are probably caused by shaving. 

  1. Veruca filiformis

Long and thin growths on lips, neck or face. They may be also be caused by shaving, but there are also other reasons for this type of flat wart on neck to appear. Consider changing your shaving habits, use less irritant products and change the shaving blade with a qualitative razor.

  1. Genital flat warts

They appear around the anus and around the genital organs, and they show as white dots and even sports. They appear mostly in adults and are transmitted through sexual contact.

Pictures of flat warts

Types of medical flat warts treatments

  1. Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy for falt warts

The technique of cryotherapy or freezing verruca means cooling the verruca with liquid azote at a temperature of -91 degrees Celsius, One of the misconceptions that people have about the treatment is that verruca is frozen almost instantly. It is not true. The treatment needs time to penetrate the skin and forms a bladder covering the wart. The dead tissue will fall off in approximately one week.  If the cold treatment of flat wart is used correctly, it will not leave scars and there is no danger of the virus spreading. It has become a common treatment in the countries where there is a supply of liquid azote. 

  1. Extirpation of the wart

Surgical removal of warts

Surgical removal of warts has the best success rate. The procedure generates some discomfort and healing lasts for days. Surgical removal of flat warts must not leave a scar and allows complete and fast healing.

  1. Electro-cautery

Electro-cautery for flat warts

The process of destroying the tissue with the help of electricity. For destroying the affected tissue, a small probe is required. Burning a flat wart is mostly efficient, but requires experience not to leave a scar.

  1. Laser

Laser flat wart removal

Laser flat wart removal uses a ray of intense light to burn and destroy the wart. A local anesthetic can be used. Laser interventions are usually required when the wart is big. Normally, laser interventions don’t cause scars. The wound will be painful for a few days after the intervention.


Maybe the most important danger of flat warts is that we neglect them until they become visually unpleasant or visibly dangerous. In some cases, they will disappear, but some of those simple warts develop into all kinds of diseases provoked by the papilloma virus. It is important to consult a doctor or a pharmacist as soon as you observe them. They may recommend you simple cosmetic products, determine if there is a possibility for flat warts to spread even more, and give advice on some kind of medical intervention.