What does fact checked mean?
At Healthfully, we strive to deliver objective content that is accurate and up-to-date. Our team periodically reviews articles in order to ensure content quality. The sources cited below consist of evidence from peer-reviewed journals, prominent medical organizations, academic associations, and government data.
The information contained on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a professional health care provider. Please check with the appropriate physician regarding health questions and concerns. Although we strive to deliver accurate and up-to-date information, no guarantee to that effect is made.
Moles and warts are two types of growths commonly found on the skin. Moles grow from cells called melanocytes, which give your skin its color. Warts are caused by the presence of a virus called human papillomavirus, or HPV. Although both types of growths are typically harmless, they may indicate the presence of harmful skin changes.
Most people have a least a few moles, and some people have a far greater number, according to the Merck Manuals Online Medical Library. They typically arise during childhood or adolescence, but you may also develop new moles at any later stage of life. Your moles may be as small as tiny dots, or grow to more than an inch in diameter. Their appearance varies significantly, and you may have moles that rise above your skin or stay relatively flat, with a texture that is either rough or smooth. Most moles have a brown or dark color, although some may appear yellowish, red or flesh-colored.
- Most people have a least a few moles, and some people have a far greater number, according to the Merck Manuals Online Medical Library.
- Their appearance varies significantly, and you may have moles that rise above your skin or stay relatively flat, with a texture that is either rough or smooth.
Age Spots and Moles
Warts come in a number of forms, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s Medline Plus 12. Common warts typically arise on your hands, while plantar warts arise on the soles of your feet. Flat warts most commonly appear on the foreheads and faces of young children. Periungual and subungual warts can arise near or under your toenails or fingernails. Genital warts may arise on your genitals, between your thighs and inside your anal canal or vagina 2. In most cases, warts have a rough texture and appear as raised oval or round skin protrusions. In color, they can vary from light to dark to black.
In certain cases, the skin cancer called melanoma can begin in the cells near or inside a mole, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). Some types of moles have a relatively high association with skin cancer, including moles that are present at birth and unusually large moles with irregular borders. You may also have an increased risk of developing melanoma if you have more than 50 to 100 regular moles, the AAD notes. The Merck Manuals list signs of developing melanoma in a mole that include pain, inflammation, bleeding, darkening and mole enlargement.
- In certain cases, the skin cancer called melanoma can begin in the cells near or inside a mole, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD).
- The Merck Manuals list signs of developing melanoma in a mole that include pain, inflammation, bleeding, darkening and mole enlargement.
How to Remove Moles With Glycolic Acid
Typically, common warts will not cause discomfort unless they form in areas where rubbing or friction can occur, Medline Plus explains 12. If you have plantar warts, however, you may experience pain or walking difficulties. Genital warts can spread through sexual contact, and in some cases can lead to the development of cancer in your vulva or cervix 2. Medline Plus recommends a testing procedure called a Pap smear for women with genital warts or with partners who have had genital warts 12.
You can have a potentially cancerous mole removed through surgery, the AAD reports. Warts frequently disappear without treatment, Medline Plus says, but you may also remove them with over-the-counter medications 12. If you have warts on your genitals or face, consult your doctor for appropriate treatment options.
Age Spots and Moles
How to Remove Moles With Glycolic Acid
What Causes Moles on the Body?
Why Is a Mole Raising Up on Skin?
Melanoma Vs. Age Spots
Skin Discoloration on the Forehead
A Blister-Like Growth Near My Fingernails
Mole Removal on the Scalp
Laser Treatment to Remove Moles
- Medline Plus: Warts
- Medline Plus: Genital Warts
- Campaner AB, Cardoso FA, Fernandes GL, Veasey JV. Verrucous carcinoma of the vulva: diagnosis and treatment. An Bras Dermatol. 2017;92(2):243-245. doi:10.1590/abd1806-4841.20174929
- TeensHealth. Warts. Updated February 2019.
- Vlahovic TC, Khan MT. The Human Papillomavirus and Its Role in Plantar Warts: A Comprehensive Review of Diagnosis and Management. Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 2016;33(3):337-53. doi:10.1016/j.cpm.2016.02.003
- Yanofsky VR, Patel RV, Goldenberg G. Genital warts: a comprehensive review. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2012;5(6):25–36.
- Johns Hopkins Medicine. Warts in children.
- Patidar S. Combination treatment of periungual warts. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2008;1(1):23–24. doi:10.4103/0974-2077.41154
- Al Aboud AM, Nigam PK. Wart (Plantar, Verruca Vulgaris, Verrucae). StatPearls. Sept 27, 2019.
- Yanofsky VR, Patel RV, Goldenberg G. Genital warts: a comprehensive review. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2012 Jun;5(6):25-36.
M. Gideon Hoyle is a writer living outside of Houston. Previously, he produced brochures and a wide variety of other materials for a nonprofit educational foundation. He now specializes in topics related to health, exercise and nutrition, publishing for various websites.