Warts (Common Warts)

  • Medical Author:
    Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD

    Dr. Cole is board certified in dermatology. He obtained his BA degree in bacteriology, his MA degree in microbiology, and his MD at the University of California, Los Angeles. He trained in dermatology at the University of Oregon, where he completed his residency.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

There are over 100 types of human papillomaviruses; some cause venereal warts, while others cause common skin warts.

Warts -- A Common Infectious Disease

The warts commonly seen on the skin are caused by a viral infection. The culprit is one of the HPVs (human papillomaviruses) that can be spread from person to person or be acquiredthrough contact with a contaminated surface.

Picture of Warts

Quick GuideCommon Childhood Skin Disorders

Common Childhood Skin Disorders

Wart facts

  • Warts are small, self-limited tumors caused by one of over 100 types of human papillomaviruses (HPV).
  • The clinical forms of warts include common warts, flat warts, plantar warts, periungual warts, filiform warts, and genital warts.
  • Warts typically disappear on their own with time, but it may take years.
  • Warts respond variably to a variety of treatment measures.
  • Over-the-counter treatments for warts include salicylic-acid preparations and freezing kits.
  • Warts may recur following treatment. Continue Reading
Reviewed on 2/22/2016
References
REFERENCES:

Miller, D.J., and R.J. Strauch. "Management of Cutaneous Warts of the Hand." J Hand Surg Am 40.11 Nov. 2015: 2274-276.

Sterling, J.C., S. Handfield-Jones, P.M. Hudson. British Association of Dermatologists. "Guidelines for the management of cutaneous warts." Br J Dermatol. 144.1 Jan. 2001: 4-11.

"Viral Warts." DermNet NZ. Nov. 16, 2011. <http://dermnetnz.org/viral/viral-warts.html>.

IMAGES:

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3.Getty Images

4.Medscape, Interactive Media LLC, "Wart filiform eyelid" by Schweintechnik

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7.MedicineNet

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