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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What are warts?
Warts are small, painless lumps that grow on the skin. They most commonly affect the hands, fingers, knees and face, but can appear anywhere on the body.
What causes warts?
Warts are caused by infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are many different types of HPV that can cause warts. The viruses can be spread to other parts of the body, or to other people through direct contact with a wart. The viruses that cause warts may be …
Who gets warts?
Anyone can get warts, but they are more common in children and young adults. People are more likely to get warts if they: use communal showers; routinely handle meat; have a weak immune system, or; have a skin infection or another chronic skin condition, such as eczema.
Will a wart clear on its own?
In many cases warts will eventually disappear by themselves, without treatment. This can take a couple of years.
Are warts contagious?
Warts can be contagious. They can spread to other parts of the body, or to other people through direct contact with a wart. The viruses that cause warts can be spread more easily if there is contact between injured or damaged skin, or if a wart has been scratched.
Can warts be prevented?
There is no sure-fire way to prevent getting warts. You may be able to reduce the chance of warts spreading to other parts of the body by not picking or scratching warts.
Will warts keep coming back?
In some cases, even after warts are removed with treatment, they can come back.
What is a verruca?
A plantar wart is sometimes called a verruca. It is a type of wart that commonly occurs on the sole of the foot. This type of wart can become painful when weight is put on the foot, or when walking or running.
About this article
Author: Dr Joanne Van der Velden PhD, BSc (Hons)
First answered: 18 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.4 out of 5
Votes: 1286 (Click smiley face below left to rate)