What’s the Deal with Warts?

There is an old myth that if you touch a toad, it will give you warts. Of course, this is false, but it may have started from just trying to understand where warts come from since they are very common and they seem to appear at random for no reason at all.

What is a Wart?
Warts are small growths that appear on the skin. While they can appear anywhere, they usually appear on the hands and fingers. If they appear on the bottom or sides of your feet, they are called plantar warts. All warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). You may have heard of HPV before, but do not worry, there are over 150 different types of HPV and only a few cause warts to grow. Everyone reacts to HPV differently so some who encounter the virus will not develop warts.

Warts can spread through simple skin contact or through cuts and scrapes in the skin. To prevent the further spread of your warts, you will want to avoid direct contact with them (mask them with a bandage) and do not pick them. If you habitually bite your fingernails, resist the urge as doing so can break the skin and allow the virus to spread more easily.

Both common and plantar warts are usually harmless and will go away on their own with time. They can be painful (especially if you find yourself with a plantar wart that you must walk on a lot) and embarrassing so you may want to have them removed.

Removal

There are over-the-counter remedies for warts like topical creams. They remove warts gradually over-time. A more immediate solution is to elect to have your warts removed through cauterization (burning), freezing, or scraping them away.

You will want to see a medical provider if your warts are painful at all times, they keep recurring, they do not seem to go away, or they begin to interfere with the day-to-day activities of your life. If you have any questions about a wart you may have or want it remove, we encourage you to get in contact with us and begin your visit today.

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