are infectious growths that are caused by a virus. They can appear
anywhere on the body. Warts usually are not dangerous, but they can be
bothersome. Little is known about warts. Most are contagious. They can
spread to other places on the person who has them, and they can be
spread from person to person. However, some people seem to be more
susceptible to warts, while others appear to be immune to them.
Genital and anal warts are easily spread through sexual contact and may
increase the risk of cervical cancer.
Plantar warts appear on the soles of the feet. Most of the wart lies
under the skin surface, so it may feel like you are walking on a pebble.
Warts seem to come and go for little reason, and they appear to be
sensitive to slight changes in the immune system. Although there is no
scientific explanation of why it works, in some cases you can
"think" them away. When necessary, your doctor can remove
warts. Unfortunately, they often come back.
Warts appear and disappear spontaneously. They can last a week, a month,
or even years. To get rid of your warts, it helps to believe in the
treatment. If something works for you, stick with it. If the wart
bleeds a little, cover it with a bandage and apply light pressure to
stop the bleeding. If the wart is in the way, reduce its size with
a pumice stone or an over-the-counter salicylic acid solution (Compound
W). This drug can be irritating in high concentrations; you may need to
use a milder form for a longer period of time. Apply salicylic acid
solution to the wart at night, and rub off the whitened skin in the
morning. Do not use salicylic acid if you have diabetes or peripheral
vascular disease. If you use a pumice stone, both the scrapings
from the wart and the area of the pumice stone that touched the wart can
be infectious. Do not touch this material. Discard both the wart
scrapings and pumice stone promptly.
Apply a doughnut-shaped pad to cushion the wart and relieve
pain. Don't cut or bum off a wart. Try the least expensive
method of treating warts that you can think of. You may save a trip to
When to Call a
Health Professional ?
If a wart looks infected (increasing pain, swelling, redness, warmth, or
discharge of pus) after being irritated or knocked off.
If a plantar wart is painful when you walk and foam pads do not
If a wart causes continual discomfort, or if warts are numerous enough
to be a problem.
If a wart develops on the face and is a cosmetic concern.
If you have warts in the anal or genital area.