What are flat warts?
Flat warts are smooth, flat-topped warts commonly found on the face, back of the hands, or legs. They are usually numerous in quantity and may appear in a line due to scratching or shaving. They are caused by HPV Virus types 3, 10, 28, and 49 and are also called juvenile warts because they’re most commonly found in children and young adults.
How do I know I have them?
- Smooth, flat-topped
- Flesh- or brownish-yellow-colored
- Size can range from 1-5 mm
The most common locations for flat warts include:
- Face, especially in children
- Legs, especially in women
- Beard area, especially in men
- Backs of hands
Infection with flat warts can be described as:
- Mild – one or a few painless warts
- Moderate – 10–100 lesions, which are painless
- Severe – more than 100 lesions, which cause enough pain to limit normal life activities
How do you get them?
Like other forms of warts, Flat warts are transmitted through contact with the HPV Virus, which typically enters your body through a cut or a scratch in your skin.
How are they diagnosed?
As they are found primarily on the face or the back of the hands, they are most often diagnosed by a dermatologist. If on the leg, you can see a podiatrist for a diagnosis. They can typically diagnose the condition accurately by look and feel, however in a rare case they may take a biopsy to make sure.
What treatment options are available?
Because flat warts commonly appear on the face or the hands, the harsher treatments need to be ruled out as they may leave scars.
The least harsh treatment available is Swift Microwave Therapy as it does not destroy tissue, rather stimulates a natural immune response. A light application of Cryotherapy to avoid scarring or a topical such as Salicylic Acid.
What is the most effective treatment method?
Based on the low risk of scarring and higher cure rates as compared to alternative modalities, Swift Microwave Therapy is an ideal solution for flat warts, however we recommend that you always confirm with your clinician.
What should I do next?
If you think you have flat warts, we advise that you seek treatment from a registered podiatrist or dermatologist who has the option to treat with Swift Microwave Therapy if they deem it to be the most appropriate treatment. In order to find a clinician offering Swift Microwave Therapy, visit the Swift Clinic Locator.