A wart is a rough, bumpy, hard, and raised piece of skin that grows at a faster than normal rate. Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), and while warts themselves are harmless, the human papilloma virus is contagious between people. Warts can form on any part of the body, but the most common areas are the hands, feet, and genitals.
There are over 100 types of viruses that can cause warts. While most warts are considered “common warts,” it is still helpful to have your doctor look at any wart(s) that you are concerned about in order to determine its origin.
For any wart that is on the body, it is important not to pick at it and/or cause it to ooze or bleed. Oozing and bleeding warts can easily spread the virus that they carry to other parts of the body and to other people if there is contact between people. If the oozing or blood from a wart is wiped off onto a towel (or any other garment), it is important to wash the garment in order to prevent the infection from being spread.
For common warts and plantar warts, some patients have success at treating these warts at home. However, reoccurring warts and genital warts will need to be treated by a reputable doctor. There are topical treatments, injections of medications, freezing the wart, surgery, and other options available for wart removal. Meeting with your doctor will determine the best wart removal treatment for you.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Jodi E. Ganz, Olansky Dermatology Associates