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Warts: Small Bumps, Big Annoyance


Warts are a common skin condition caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). These small, often rough-textured growths can appear anywhere on the skin and are usually harmless but can be bothersome. In this article, we will explore the signs and symptoms, causes, treatment options, prevention strategies, and some intriguing facts about warts.

Signs and Symptoms

Warts can vary in appearance and location, but common signs and symptoms include:

  1. Small, Raised Bumps: Warts are typically raised above the skin's surface and can range in size from tiny pinheads to larger, coin-sized growths.

  2. Rough Texture: They often have a rough texture and can feel grainy or bumpy when touched.

  3. Flesh-Colored or Grayish: Warts can be flesh-colored, gray, brown, or have a slightly pink or yellow hue.

  4. Common Locations: Warts commonly occur on hands, fingers, feet (plantar warts), and around or under nails (periungual warts).

  5. Clusters: Warts may appear individually or in clusters.

  6. Pain or Discomfort: Some warts, especially plantar warts on the soles of the feet, can be painful or uncomfortable.


Warts are caused by various strains of HPV, which enter the body through tiny cuts or breaks in the skin. The specific HPV strain determines the type of wart that develops. Common causes and risk factors include:

  1. Direct Contact: Warts are contagious and can spread from person to person through direct contact with the wart or by touching surfaces that have been in contact with warts.

  2. Weakened Immune System: People with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to warts.

  3. Warm and Moist Environments: Public showers, swimming pools, and locker rooms can be breeding grounds for HPV, increasing the risk of infection.

  4. Nail Biting or Hangnails: Biting nails or picking at hangnails can create openings for the virus to enter.


Treatment options for warts vary, and the choice depends on the type and location of the wart:

  1. Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications: OTC topical treatments containing salicylic acid can help dissolve the wart over time.

  2. Prescription Medications: A healthcare provider may prescribe stronger topical treatments or recommend freezing the wart (cryotherapy).

  3. Laser Therapy: Laser treatment can effectively remove warts by targeting the blood vessels that supply them.

  4. Surgical Removal: Invasive warts may require surgical removal under local anesthesia.

  5. Immunotherapy: In some cases, the body's immune system can be stimulated to attack and eliminate the wart.

At VECA we offers topical wart treatment as well as cautery and curettage using Diathermy under local anaesthesia.


While it's not always possible to prevent warts, some preventive measures can reduce the risk of infection and transmission:

  1. Hand Hygiene: Regular handwashing can help reduce the spread of warts.

  2. Avoiding Contact: Avoid touching warts on yourself or others.

  3. Foot Protection: Wear flip-flops or sandals in public showers and locker rooms to reduce the risk of plantar warts.

  4. Keep Skin Healthy: Moisturize and protect your skin from cuts and abrasions.


  1. Widespread Affliction: Warts are one of the most common skin conditions, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds.

  2. HPV Variability: There are over 100 different types of HPV, and each can cause specific types of warts, including common warts, plantar warts, and genital warts.

  3. Not Harmful to Toads: The myth that touching a toad causes warts is untrue; warts are caused by the human papillomavirus, not by toads or frogs.

  4. Spontaneous Resolution: Some warts may disappear on their own without treatment, although this can take months to years.

  5. Reoccurrence: Even after successful treatment, warts can sometimes reappear, especially in individuals with weakened immune systems.

In conclusion, warts are a common skin condition caused by HPV, featuring distinct signs and symptoms. While they are often harmless, warts can be irritating or unsightly, prompting individuals to seek treatment. By understanding the causes, treatment options, and preventive measures, people can better manage and minimize the impact of warts on their skin and well-being.

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Diathermy before and 1 month after 1 treatment.

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Please book with us to discuss the best management for your condition.

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