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Verruca Plana - Causes, Risk Factors, Symptoms, and Management

Published on Jul 15, 2022   -  4 min read


Verruca plana are benign tumors affecting the skin and the epithelial tissues of the body. To know more about the condition, read the complete article below.


Flat warts or verruca plana (VP) are skin lesions most commonly associated with human papillomavirus (HPV). It is a benign tumor of the skin and epithelium.

Is Verruca Plana a Serious Condition?

Verruca plana is a harmless and painless skin wart seen more frequently in the topmost layer of hands and feet. They go by themselves after a few months or two to three years.

What Are Warts?

Warts are defined as the benign proliferation of the skin caused by HPV infection.

What Are the Different Types of Warts?

Depending on the Shape of the Lesion, Warts Are of Three Types:

  • Flat warts.

  • Filiform warts.

  • Common warts.

Depending on the Site of Skin Involved, Warts Are Categorized As:

What Is the Primary Causative Organism of Flat Warts?

Flat warts or the verruca plana occur most commonly because of type 3 HPV. However, it can also happen less commonly because of type 10, 27, and 41 HPV.

Who Is at Risk of Getting Verruca Plana?

  • Verruca plana primarily affect children, adolescents, and young people. Therefore, they are often seen in children and are also known as juvenile warts.
  • Patients with scratches or shave cuts.

  • Patients with poor skin hygiene.

  • Immunocompromised patients.

  • Patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

  • Direct skin contact with patients suffering from flat warts.

What Are the Different Ways in Which Verruca Can Spread?

Verruca plana is a contagious disease; however, the frequency is shallow. It can spread from an infectious person to a healthy person in several ways:

  • Direct skin-to-skin transfer. The chances of getting the infection rise when the skin is wet or the continuity of the skin is breached.

  • Patients with compromised or weakened immunity.

What Are the Clinical Presentations of the Verruca Plana?

Verruca plana mainly occur in multiples or groups and are most frequently involved in the face, neck, trunk, hands, wrists, and knees. They cause pain only when they are present on the soles of the feet.

What Are the Identifying Features of Flat Warts Clinically?

They clinically appear as yellow, brown, or pink colored, pin-sized, round, or oval-shaped lesions all over the skin.

  • They are 2 to 5 mm in diameter, raised lesions over the skin's topmost surface.

  • They also cause some hardening of the skin.

  • They become inflamed and obtain a violaceous color with time.

  • Immediate warts are variations of flat warts which share common characteristics with both flat and common warts.

Is It Possible to Get Rid of Verruca Plana?

Verruca plana go away by itself in most cases without causing any complication. Therefore, treatment is mainly aimed at the early elimination of the lesion.

When Should a Doctor Be Consulted?

A specialist should be contacted when a wart starts growing in size, bleeds, or changes color. A podiatrist or specialist of feet, ankles, and lower legs will help get rid of the lesions faster and safely.

Is It Possible to Treat Verruca Plana With Home Remedies?

There are a few home remedies that help in getting rid of the lesion; these include:

  • Rubbing the banana peel over the lesion at night before bed for two weeks.

  • Keeping garlic over the lesion and securing it with garlic also help in the early healing of the wart. Garlic is known for its healing properties.

  • Securing duct tape over the lesion for a couple of weeks also helps eliminate the wart, as shown in specific clinical trials.

How Is Verruca Plana Treated?

Apart from home remedies, warts can also be treated with medicines and other alternative therapies. However, there is no single specific therapy for eliminating warts. These include:

  • Topical Salicylic acid creams, gels, etc., effectively treat the lesion. However, they remain the first line of treatment, as they help soften the lesion. However, it should be avoided in facial lesions, as it can cause scarring.

  • Cryotherapy and retinoids are the second-line treatment strategy used to get rid of warts.

Cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen for 10 to 20 seconds, freezes the skin, and causes falling off of the skin lesion. It is not recommended in young children as it can cause scarring and is very painful. However, it is recommended for facial lesions.

  • Pulsed laser therapy also helps eliminate the wart by targeting or destroying the blood vessels of the wart. It leads to the death or destruction of the necrotic wart tissue.

  • Intralesional immunotherapy is used as the third line of treatment. A delayed type of hypersensitivity is triggered following a candida skin antigen test. The antibodies so produced are used to ward off the HPV.

  • Lately, podiatrists employ a swift machine to treat flat warts. The swift machine uses microwave energy to remove the wart. It is more effective than Salicylic acid and cryotherapy, with a more than seventy-five percent success rate.

How Can We Prevent Flat Warts?

Flat warts are highly contagious and can be prevented by following a few simple steps:

  • Avoid scratching or rubbing the infected region.

  • Regular washing of hands, especially after touching warts.

  • Avoid sharing towels or any personal items of the infected person.

  • The skin should be kept dry.

  • In the case of children, the toys used for playing should be washed properly.

  • Refrain from using flip-flops in public places or shower rooms.

What Are the Conditions That Mimic Flat Warts?

Flat warts are similar to the following conditions:

What Is the Overall Outlook of Flat Warts?

Overall, verruca plana enjoy an excellent prognosis, with most of the lesions resolving themselves.


Verruca plana or the common warts are harmless and contagious skin lesions. They are caused mainly by HPV. They appear as skin-colored tiny raised lesions, occurring most commonly in clusters all over the body, especially in the face, hands, and feet. Lesions in the sole are painful. They are easily diagnosed by clinical examination. Verruca plana do not have a 100 % cure. Treatment of the lesion encompasses home remedies, over-the-counter creams, gels, and alternate therapy.

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Last reviewed at:
15 Jul 2022  -  4 min read




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