Warts are skin irritation caused by a virus. The virus will invade warm moist areas like small cuts or scratches. They can affect any part of the body, but are most commonly found on hands and feet. Warts are painless unless they are found in an area that frequently has pressure applied to it, like the soles of your feet.
Warts are passed from person to person by close physical contact or from touching a surface that a person with a wart touches, like a bathmat or a shower floor. Therefore, warts are contagious. Simply touching a wart does not guarantee you’ll get a wart.
There are a couple different types of warts. Common warts are usually found on hands, and other parts of the body like your elbows and knees. They are basically a hard bump that looks like they have a black dot on the inside. Flat warts are smaller warts that have a flat top. They are more commonly found on the face. Plantar warts are found on the bottom of the foot. They are generally more painful than other warts due to the pressure put on the wart while walking. Filiform warts have finger-like shapes and are commonly found around the mouth or nose. Genital warts are sexually transmitted warts found in the genital area.
Often, patients usually ask us to remove warts because they don’t like the way they look. We have many options for treating warts. From cryosurgery (that cold spray in the silver blue bottle.. so cold it burns), canthacur (aka beetle juice), cautery, and a variety of prescription creams.
Although they are unpleasant to look at, warts are a common skin problem that is unlikely to cause serious problems. No, you won’t get a wart from holding a frog or toad, as you were told as a child.