Warts are caused by a virus that creates an infection in the skin once contact is made. This is more likely to develop on broken skin since the virus can enter the top layer of skin through open wounds. Children often develop warts much more often than adults, because they haven’t built up defenses against human papillomavirus in their immune systems yet.
Warts can spread very easily from encountering a wart on someone else’s body, or surfaces that touched someone’s warts, such as towels or bathmats. Warts can also spread from one area of your body to another. For this reason, it is important not to pick at your warts. Be mindful of warts in areas where you shave. Shaving over the wart could transfer the virus to the razor and then spread it to other areas of your body. One of the best precautions to take to minimize your risk of acquiring warts is to wash your hands regularly.
Treatment of your warts will depend on the placement and personal preference. Freezing the skin wart with liquid nitrogen or burning it off are two fast, painless methods that are popular for wart removal. Sometimes, your dermatologist will use a laser to treat warts that are difficult to remove. Doctors may also use a chemical called cantharidin on the wart, which causes a blister to form beneath the growth. When the skin on the top of the blister dies, it contains part of the wart and can be removed. Other treatments include surgical removal of the wart and the injection or application of certain drugs that strengthen your immune system’s response to the wart. The best way to decide on treatment is to speak with a dermatologist on the matter.