Warts are skin growths caused by certain types of human papillomavirus, or HPV. They tend to grow quickly and can appear anywhere on your body.
While most warts diminish on their own within months or years, treatment can help minimize any pain, stop them from spreading, and help minimize their appearance. They are one of the most common conditions Dr. Stoll sees in his practice.
Warts are bumps that appear in many shapes and sizes. They can have a rough or smooth and flat surface. If you develop plantar warts, you may notice dark dots at the center that stem from tiny blood vessels that grow into it, supplying blood.
Most often, warts don’t cause pain, but if you have one in an area that tends to get a lot of pressure, such as the bottom of your foot, it can become quite uncomfortable.
Dr. Stoll usually can diagnose a wart simply by looking at it. In some cases, samples are taken to examine under a microscope, particularly if it’s unclear if the growth is a wart or something else, or if the bump is darker than skin around it, large and fast-growing, or bleeds.
Warts spread easily through direct contact with HPV. Sharing towels, razors, or other personal items with someone who has warts can infect you. After coming in contact with HPV, warts may not appear for months above the surface. You can also infect yourself again by touching other body areas to a wart you already have.
A variety of treatment options can help minimize warts, including:
The best way to prevent additional warts is to avoid contact with warts or HPV. Wear flip-flops rather than going barefoot on wet surfaces such as locker room floors, don’t share towels or razors with someone who may have warts, don’t bite your nails, and wear shoes that fit well and allow your feet to breathe versus tight shoes that cause your feet to sweat.
*Individual results may vary.
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