What's in this article?
Stop warts from spreading
If you have warts, you can spread the virus to other places on your own body. Here’s how to stop the spread:
- Don’t brush, clip, comb or shave areas with warts.
- Don’t use the same file or nail clipper on warts as you use on healthy nails.
- Don’t pick at warts. If you can’t keep your hands off, cover your warts with an adhesive bandage.
- Wash your hands carefully after touching your warts.
Who gets warts?
In fact, almost everyone will develop a wart at some time or other. Warts are not a sign of poor hygiene, and should not be considered a source of embarrassment.
Are Warts Contagious?
Unfortunately, yes. You can get warts from touching a wart on someone else’s body, or by coming in contact with surfaces that touched someone’s warts, such as towels or bathmats.
Can I Spread Warts From One Part of My Body to Another?
Yes, you can. For this reason, it is important not to pick at your warts and to wash your hands promptly and thoroughly any time you touch one of your warts. If you have warts in an area where you shave, keep in mind that shaving over the wart could transfer the virus to the razor and then spread it to other areas of your body.
What causes warts?
Warts are minor local infections caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). The virus invades the skin cells and causes them to multiply rapidly. There are at least 50 kinds of warts caused by this virus.
What Are the Types of Warts?
There are five types of warts. Each type appears on a different part of the body and has a distinct appearance.
Common warts usually grow on your fingers and toes but can appear elsewhere. They have a rough, grainy appearance and a rounded top. Common warts are grayer than the surrounding skin.
Plantar warts grow on the soles of the feet. Unlike other warts, plantar warts grow into your skin, not out of it. You can tell if you have a plantar wart if you notice what appears to be a small hole in the bottom of your foot that is surrounded by hardened skin. Plantar warts can make walking uncomfortable.
Flat warts usually grow on the face, thighs, or arms. They are small and not immediately noticeable. Flat warts have a flat top, as if they have been scraped. They can be pink, brownish, or slightly yellow.
Filiform warts grow around your mouth or nose and sometimes on your neck or under your chin. They are small and shaped like a tiny flap or tag of skin. Filiform warts are the same color as your skin.
Periungual warts grow under and around the toenails and fingernails. They can be painful and affect nail growth.
You can get some wart remedies without a prescription and treat the warts yourself. This may be enough to get rid of the warts. The only problem with self-treatment is that you might mistake another kind of skin growth for a wart. Some skin cancers look like warts.
You should see a dermatologist when you have:
- A suspicion that the growth is not a wart.
- A wart on your face or genitals.
- Many warts.
- Warts that hurt, itch, burn, or bleed.
- A weakened immune system.
- Diabetes. Never try to remove any wart on your foot if you have diabetes. If you cut or burn your skin, it could cause lasting damage to the nerves in your feet.
You can use the following at home:
- Salicylic acid: You can treat warts at home by applying salicylic acid. This medicine is available without a prescription. It comes in different forms — a gel, liquid, or plaster (pad). You should apply salicylic acid to the wart every day. Before applying the salicylic acid, be sure to soak the wart in warm water.Salicylic acid is rarely painful. If the wart or the skin around the wart starts to feel sore, you should stop treatment for a short time. It can take many weeks of treatment to have good results even when you do not stop treatment.
- Other home remedies: Some home remedies are harmless, such as covering warts with duct tape. Changing the tape every few days might peel away layers of the wart. Studies conflict, though, on whether duct tape really gets rid of warts.Many people think certain folk remedies and hypnosis get rid of warts. Since warts may go away without treatment, it’s hard to know whether a folk remedy worked or the warts just went away.
Ask your dermatologist if you are unsure about the best way to treat a wart.