The human papillomavirus causes warts, which are raised lumps on the skin (HPV). Warts have afflicted people for thousands of years, as evidenced by the discovery of 3,000-year-old mummies and Shakespeare’s mention of them. Warts are not harmful, but they are unsightly, possibly humiliating, and infectious. They can also be excruciatingly uncomfortable.

Everything you should know about Warts

A wart is a tiny, rough-textured growth that can develop on any part of the body. It might resemble a solid blister or a tiny cauliflower in appearance.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) family of viruses causes warts.

A wart’s appearance is determined by its location on the body as well as the thickness of the skin.

On the palm, warts develop. Plantar warts are a kind of wart that affects the soles of the feet.

Warts are predicted to affect one in every three children and teens, but only 3 to 5% of adults.

This is most likely due to the immune system’s improved ability to inhibit their growth over time.

Warts are more common in those who have a weaker immune system.

Genital warts

Although most warts are harmless, certain HPV strains can lead to warts in, around, and within the genitals.

These warts may be more severe. They may lead to cervical, anal or vulvovaginal cancer in women.

Anal and glans penis cancer can also arise in males as a result of some types of genital warts.

Anyone developing genital warts should consult their doctor for evaluation.

Warts are divided into five categories. Each kind has a particular look and occurs in a different area of the body.

  • Common warts

Common warts generally occur on your fingers and toes, but they can also appear on other parts of your body. They have a rounded top and a rough, grainy look. Common warts are darker in color than the skin around them.

  • Plantar warts

Plantar warts are warts that develop on the bottoms of the feet. Plantar warts, unlike other warts, grow into your skin rather than out of it. If you see what looks to be a tiny hole in the bottom of your foot surrounded by tough skin, you may have a plantar wart. Plantar warts may make walking difficult.

  • Flat warts 

Flat warts are most commonly found on the face, thighs, and arms. They’re tiny and unnoticeable at first. The tops of flat warts are smooth as if they’ve been scrapped. They come in a variety of colors, including pink, brownish, and somewhat yellow.

  • Filiform warts

Filiform warts appear around the lips and nose, as well as on the neck and beneath the chin. They’re little and resemble a tiny skin flap or tag. The color of filiform warts is the same as the color of your skin.

  • Periungual warts 

Warts that develop beneath and around the toenails and fingernails are known as periungual warts. They can be painful and harm nail development.

The HPV viruses cause keratin, a hard protein found on the top layer of the skin, to develop excessively and quickly.

Warts are caused by several HPV strains. Close skin-to-skin contact, as well as touch with towels or shoes, are all ways to spread the wart-causing virus.

The virus can spread to different regions of the body by:

  • A wart is scratched or bitten
  • Finger sucking
  • If you have warts around your nails, you should avoid biting them
  • Shave your legs or face

Infection is more likely if your skin is moist or injured, and you come into touch with abrasive surfaces.

For instance, a person with scratches or scrapes on feet’ soil has a greater chance of developing a verruca in public pools and public areas.

When taking public showers or strolling near public swimming pools, wearing shower shoes or flip-flops might help avoid this.

Although there is a minimal chance of contracting warts from another person, they can be transmitted, especially if the individual’s immune system is weakened. People living with HIV or AIDS, as well as those on immunosuppressive drugs after a transplant, fall under this category.

The contagiousness of genital warts is greater.

As a result of working with meat, you’re more likely to develop warts. According to research conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians, 33% of slaughterhouse workers and 34% of retail butchers have warts on their hands.

If you have a skin wart, it implies you came into touch with a virus that causes warts at some point in the past, which might have been months ago.

Individuals get warts from other people who have warts. Direct skin-to-skin contact, such as shaking hands with someone who has warts on their hand, is the most prevalent method. Inanimate things, such as towels used by someone with a wart, can potentially transmit the infection.

When viruses come into touch with injured or cut skin, they are more likely to create warts. A minor scratch or chewing your fingernails might cause a wart to appear. Similarly, shaving cuts and nicks might give an entry point for infection. This helps to explain why males get warts in their beards while women get them on their legs.


If you already have a wart, there are techniques to prevent it from spreading to other regions of your body. To decrease the chance of contracting or spreading warts, take the following precautions: 

  • Do not get your hands on other people’s warts
  • Use only your own towels, washcloths, and other personal things
  • Do not share your shoes or socks with others
  • Scratching warts or verrucae might encourage them to spread
  • When accessing and departing community baths and pools, wear sandals
  • When swimming, cover warts or verrucae with a waterproof covering, and socks or gloves elsewhere, such as at the gym
  • In places where there are warts, do not brush, comb, shave, or trim hair
  • Use a different tool on the diseased and healthy nails while filing or trimming them
  • If you have warts on your fingernails, don’t bite them
  • As much as possible, keep your hands dry
  • After touching a wart, wash hands thoroughly

Warts are a common affliction that may be humiliating. They may go away on their own, but if they don’t, therapy can usually help.

Frequent warts are more common in the following people:

  • Because their systems haven’t developed protection against the virus, children and young people are at risk
  • People with weak immune systems, such as HIV/AIDS patients or those who have undergone organ transplants

The majority of common warts disappear without treatment however, it may take a year or two, and new ones may appear nearby. Because home therapy isn’t working and the warts are unpleasant, spreading, or an aesthetic problem, some people opt to have their warts treated by a doctor.

The treatment aims to either remove the wart or trigger an immune system response to combat the infection. It might take weeks or months for your treatment to be completed. Warts tend to return or spread, even after treatment. When it comes to treating young children, doctors usually start with the least painful treatments.

Depending on where your warts are, your symptoms, and your preferences, your doctor may recommend one of the following treatments. These techniques are sometimes used with natural remedies like salicylic acid.

  • Stronger peeling medicine (salicylic acid)

Salicylic acid-based prescription wart medicines operate by gradually eliminating layers of a wart. Salicylic acid coupled with freezing is more effective in studies.

  • Freezing (Cryotherapy)

The application of liquid nitrogen to your wart during freezing treatment at a doctor’s clinic. The freezing method works by forming a blister under and around your wart. Within a week or so, the dead tissue will slough off. This treatment may help boost your immune system’s ability to combat viral warts. Treatments will very certainly be needed again.

Pain, blistering, and discolored skin in the treated region are common side effects of cryotherapy. Because this procedure can be unpleasant, it is rarely used to treat warts in children under the age of eight.

  • Other acids

Your doctor may use trichloroacetic acid if salicylic acid or freezing aren’t working. The doctor uses a wooden toothpick to shave the wart’s surface before applying the acid. It needs weekly or bi-weekly treatments. Burning and stinging are two side effects.

  • Minor surgery

The troublesome tissue might be removed by your doctor. The treated region may develop a scar.

  • Laser treatment

Using a pulsed dye laser, small blood vessels are burned (cauterized). The wart comes out when the diseased tissue dies. This technique has minimal evidence for efficacy, and it can cause discomfort and scarring.

It is not always painful to have a wart. The appearance of pain is influenced by a variety of variables. For instance, if the creation penetrates deeply into the tissues, it may injure nerve endings, resulting in discomfort. Warts that are placed on regions of the body that are continually subjected to mechanical stress, such as the plantar surface of the foot, clothing friction points, and so on, are no less unpleasant. Periodic discomfort may also be linked to growing damage frequently.

Warts, including common warts, plantar warts, and flat warts, are not malignant and do not cause cancer. They’re quite innocuous, and they’ll ultimately vanish on their own. Because genital warts are unpleasant, infectious, and can lead to cervical cancer in women, they should be treated by a doctor.

Well, most warts aren’t harmful. This isn’t to claim they’re completely harmless. Other forms of warts have the potential to be harmful.

Genital warts fall under this group. They’re well-known for being very contagious and, in certain cases, can lead to cancer. They include a kind of HPV virus that targets the mucosal tissue lining, which can lead to cancer. Cervical and anal cancers are two types of malignancies that may be caused in this manner.

Warts are extremely harmful due to their high contagiousness. If your skin comes into touch with warts on another person, there’s a good possibility you’ll get them as well. Warts can also be passed from one body part to another. If you scrape your warts with your fingernails, they will form on the tips of your fingers as well.

Warts are extremely hazardous because they carry the incurable Human Papilloma Virus. They can vanish on their own, but the virus stays in the body. This helps to explain why most warts reappear after they've been removed.


Although warts aren’t particularly infectious, they can be spread by intimate skin-to-skin contact. Infected items or surfaces, such as the environment around a swimming pool, can potentially transfer the illness indirectly.

If your skin is moist or injured, you are more prone to become infected. It might take weeks or even months for a wart or verruca to emerge after you’ve been afflicted.


Warts are not passed on from generation to generation. Many warts, such as genital warts, are transmitted through human contact and so are not genetic. Most people’s genital warts are likewise latent, disappearing without causing an outbreak eight to two years after infection. Additionally, some people may be genetically prone to developing warts, particularly if their immune systems have been weakened or impaired.

If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, you should get medical advice:

  • You have warts on your face or another vulnerable area of your body (e.g., genitals, mouth, nostrils)
  • Around a wart, you see bleeding or infection symptoms like pus or scabbing
  • The wart is uncomfortable
  • The wart’s color changes
  • You have warts, diabetes, or a weakness in your immune system, such as HIV/AIDS
  • It readily spreads to other bodily areas
  • Returns after the removal before
  • It arises in a region that causes permanent bumping and bleeding, to influence everyday activities as rashes, sports, etc.

Persons seeking to remove the wart should visit a doctor for aesthetic purposes.

Insurance will not be financing the treatment of cosmetics, but warts may all be treated by primary care doctors, dermatologists, and podiatrists.

Getting rid of common warts at home is usually rather simple. Unless you have diabetes or a compromised immune system, try these techniques:

  • peeling medicine (salicylic acid)

Salicylic acid is offered as a patch, ointment, pad, and liquid in non-prescription wart removal treatments. A 17 percent salicylic acid solution is recommended for common warts. These items are often used daily for a few weeks at a time. Soak your wart for a few minutes in warm water before using the ointment for optimum effects. In between treatments, use a pumice stone or a disposable emery board to remove any dead skin.

Reduce the frequency with which you employ this approach to cure your wart if your skin gets too inflamed. Before using an acid solution, consult your doctor if you are pregnant.

  • Freezing

Some liquid nitrogen products are available in non-prescription liquid or spray form.

  • Duct tape

For six days, cover the wart with silver duct tape. Then soak it in water and use a pumice stone or disposable emery board to gently remove dead tissue. Allow for 12 hours of exposure before repeating the treatment till the wart is gone.

The success of duct tape in eradicating warts, either alone or in combination with other treatments, has been inconsistent in studies.

Over-the-counter freezing spray products (cryotherapy) may also be performed by your doctor or doctor who uses liquid nitrogen to freeze your wart. Temperatures as low as -100°F can be reached in the at-home therapy. The disadvantage of this home therapy is that it may not be successful since it does not freeze the wart deeply enough. It can also be uncomfortable since the spray must be administered for a longer time than if you were at a doctor’s office. When it is worked, the wart produces a blister and within one to two weeks the dead tissue collapses.

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