You may have been convinced that your wart came from a toad when you were a child! Apparently, you can’t get warts from touching our slimy friends at all. In reality, you probably picked up that wart from a friend or classmate. Warts are highly contagious so it is important to know what they are, how you can get them and how to treat warts.
What’s a Wart?
Viruses may enter the body through small cuts or sores on the skin causing warts to form. This virus can then cause an infection, creating the wart, which will look like a small hard bump on the skin. Warts are much more common in children, because adults typically have better hygiene and immune systems.
Types of Warts
- Plantar Warts: These warts are found on the bottom of your feet and are more common in people who do a lot of barefoot activities, according to the Mayo Clinic. They can grow inward, under the thick layer of skin on the feet. If you go to a public pool or locker room, walk around in pool shoes to help avoid a wart.
- Common Warts: Yep, these are pretty common. Common warts are found on the knees, elbows or hands. They often contain what looks like little black seeds, however this is just dried blood in the wart and nothing to be concerned about. Due to their location, especially on the hands, common warts easily spread to other parts of the body, so make sure they are treated quickly.
- Flat Warts: Again, this wart’s name gives it away. A flat wart is a small flat bump, usually found on the skin and in a group of 20 to 100 others. These often appear in places you may shave, like the legs or face.
- Molluscum Contagiosum: This is a viral skin infection which causes small, itchy, red bumps with a dimple in the center to appear. Your body will usually fight the infection itself and the bumps will leave on their own. One thing to remember is that, despite popular belief, these are not warts! The American Academy of Dermatology clears up this misconception and shares that while they may look the same and have entered your body the same way, molluscum is treated in a different way.
Why’d I get a Wart?
Again, warts are highly contagious. You can get a wart at home, at school, from friends or family, or at the pool. Basically, you can get a wart anywhere and from anyone. Yikes! Don’t worry, they’re very common and easily treatable. Areas like the hands, bottoms of the feet and the face are more prone to warts, as they encounter more surfaces throughout the day. Be diligent in checking these areas on your child, especially after they’ve spent long months at the pool and are back in school.
How to Get Rid of a Wart
- Freezing: You can buy a freeze-treatment specifically for warts at your local drugstore. Freezing your wart will cause a blister to form around it. Both the blister and the wart will eventually fall off and then, which will leave you wart free! Be sure to not use this treatment on your face. Store bought freeze treatments are typically only used for the common or plantar wart.
- Acid: This may sound a little bit intense, but there is nothing to worry about. Using the liquid-form or a patch of salicylic acid softens the wart. After applying the acid to the wart, make sure to soak the area in warm water for around ten minutes. This will make it easy to buff off the wart using a pumice stone or nail file.
- Dermatologist: If you have flat warts or a stubborn wart that won’t seem to leave for good, it’s time to see your dermatologist. Dermatologists are trained to perform treatments that can’t be bought at the store. These are usually much more effective and easier on the surrounding skin than at-home remedies or drugstore treatments. The dermatologist can also accurately diagnose your wart to give you the right treatment options. Options may include anything from simple freezing treatments, prescription medicines or even a laser treatment.
If you have flat warts, molluscum contagiosum or a wart that just won’t go away, it’s time to visit Knoxville Dermatology Group. Our dermatologists are ready and able to take care of you and your family. To make an appointment, visit our website or call us at (865) 690-9467.