They are Contagious Skin Viruses

What Causes Warts?

Warts are harmless but contagious skin growths caused by a skin virus. Warts can grow on any part of the body. Their appearance depends on their location. On the face and tops of the hands warts protrude, while on such pressure areas as the palms of the hands and soles of the feet they’re pushed inward. Warts on the bottoms of the feet (called plantar warts) grow inward from the pressure of standing and walking and are often painful. Warts have a rough surface on which tiny dark specks can often be seen.

Warts are common and can be a nuisance. They may bleed if injured. Warts never turn cancerous.

Since warts are caused by a virus, they are slightly contagious. Warts may spread on the body since a wart is the source of a virus that can seed other areas. We don’t know why some persons get warts easily while others never get them. There’s no way to prevent warts.

People have been trying to cure warts for thousands of years. The “success” of folk remedies for warts is due to the fact that warts often disappear by themselves, especially in young children. This spontaneous disappearance is less common in older children and adults.


Treating Warts

There is no single perfect treatment of warts, since we are unable to kill the virus. Treatment consists of destroying the wart. Warts can be destroyed with surgery, by freezing with liquid nitrogen, or with chemicals. The treatment to be used on your warts depends on their location and size, your type of skin, and Dr. Ellerin’s judgment.

Sometimes new warts will form while existing ones are being destroyed. All we can do is treat the new warts when they become large enough to be seen.

No matter what treatment is used, warts occasionally fail to disappear. Warts may return weeks or months after an apparent cure. Don’t become concerned if a wart recurs. Please make an appointment for a return visit. The treatment will be repeated, or a different method will be used to destroy the wart.

A newly found, simple home regimen used in conjunction with office treatments readily speeds up the wart removal. This regimen decreases the number of office visits required.