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What Are Plane Warts?

By Christina Edwards
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A plane wart is a small wart with a flat surface. Like many other types of warts, it is usually caused by a virus and is contagious. Children commonly get these types of warts on their hands. Although these warts will not usually cause any major problems, they can itch and be unattractive. Various wart treatment methods can be used to remove these warts, including over-the-counter creams, cryotherapy, and surgery.

The Verruca plana is more commonly known as the plane or flat wart. Unlike other warts that are often dome shaped, these raised skin abnormalities typically have flat surfaces. The surfaces of these warts are also usually smooth and sometimes shiny. Many other warts may have rough surfaces.

A plane wart is also usually smaller than most other warts. At first, this type of wart may go unnoticed, since it will often start out roughly the same size as a pinhead. Over time, this wart will usually grow bigger. Most of these warts, however, will not get any larger than 0.4 inches (1 centimeter) in diameter.

Children are generally more likely than others to suffer from plane warts. They are most commonly found on the hands or fingers, but they can also occur on other parts of the body. They can be found on arms, legs, feet, and necks, for instance. A man may also find this type of wart around the edges of his beard.

A plane wart is usually caused by certain strains of a virus known as the human papilloma virus (HPV). This virus can easily spread to other parts of the body, and groups or clusters of warts are not uncommon. In fact, a person can also contract a wart infection from another person, simply by coming in contact with that person's skin.

Serious complications of plane warts are uncommon. A wart can be somewhat uncomfortable at times, though, and it may itch or be sore. Generally, the most common problem with these types of warts is their appearance. Although they are small, clusters of these warts can be unattractive.

Most plane warts can typically be treated with over-the-counter remedies, such as topical creams. Applying a bandage over the area can help the medication work faster. More severe cases may require the attention of a medical professional. Doctors are typically able to surgically remove warts or freeze them off in a procedure known as cryotherapy.

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Discussion Comments
By serenesurface — On Sep 23, 2012

@turquoise-- I think doctors differentiate them based on their appearance because all warts are caused by HPV. So the same treatment options are available for treating all warts, regardless of which type they are.

If you want to find out if you have plane warts, just compare pictures of different warts to see which one your warts resemble the most. Plan warts are much smaller than regular warts and they are much darker in color, they are usually red or brown. Regular warts tend to be bigger, irregularly shaped and the same color as the skin.

Some people think that plane warts are completely flat, but that's not true. It will be a little raised, it won't be completely even on the skin. It's just the very top of the wart won't grow out into irregular shapes, it will be flat.

By turquoise — On Sep 22, 2012
If I have warts but don't know whether they are plane warts or something else, is it important to find out for the treatment?

I mean, are there different types of treatments for different types of warts? How can I find out, aside from comparing the appearance, if I have plane warts?

By burcinc — On Sep 22, 2012

When I was young, they used to say that you get plane warts from touching frogs. I never touched any frogs and still got plane warts as a child. First it was just one on my hand and they more came up and it was a cluster of them.

My mom used the wart killing liquid from the pharmacy but it didn't work. Eventually, I had to get the warts laser burned at the doctor's office. I never got them after that but I still have a scar where they were.

I wish we could have treated them in another way because I really hate this scar. I don't want to be constantly reminded that I had warts there.

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