“Try to keep skin healthy and moisturized to avoid having open cuts or fissures in the skin, which would provide a portal for the virus to get into the skin,” says Sandra Johnson, MD, a dermatologist in Fort Smith, Ark. See our safe care and visitor guidelines, plus trusted coronavirus information. Warts are raised bumps on your skin caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). 2nd ed. But many people choose to remove them because they find them bothersome or embarrassing. If you are someone who frequently gets common skin warts, it is important to focus on prevention and treat your skin warts promptly when they do appear. The first way to prevent skin warts is to avoid coming into contact with the virus: The second way to prevent skin warts is to keep your skin as cut- and nick-free as possible. If you suffer from skin warts on your fingers and you’re prone to biting your fingernails or pulling on hangnails, it’s in your best interest to quit the habit. Warts can spread on your body if left untreated. Kwok CS, et al. Use a disposable emery board. Warts are highly contagious and are mainly passed by direct skin contact, such … “The most common way is direct skin-to-skin contact, such as shaking hands with someone who has warts on their hand. Accessed March 7, 2018. What Causes Warts. This is probably because their immune systems have not yet built a strong defense against the numerous strains of human papillomavirus that they will encounter over their lifetimes. Also, when shaving, be sure to use a sharp razor that won’t tear or cut your skin. Other forms of HPV are more likely to cause genital warts, although some strains of the virus can cause both. Bope ET, et al. The virus can spread from person to person or from different parts of the body through: Direct contact with a wart. Management of cutaneous viral warts. Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, FREE book offer – Mayo Clinic Health Letter. The virus usually spreads through breaks in your skin, such as a hangnail or a scrape. Warts are caused by the human papilloma class of viruses (HPV), which provoke an abnormal growth of cells in a given place. Filiform warts are generally caused due to HPV 1, 2, 4 and 29 strains. http://www.aad.org/dermatology-a-to-z/diseases-and-treatments/u---w/warts. They're small, grainy bumps that are rough to the touch. Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic. Avoid direct contact with warts. But common warts are actually an infection in the top layer of skin, caused by viruses in the human papillomavirus, or HPV, family. Some strains of HPV are acquired through sexual contact. The HPV strain that causes genital warts can also cause certain types of cancer. In: Conn's Current Therapy 2018. Warts have different appearances, depending on their location. Different HPV strains cause different warts. When skin warts appear, it can seem as if the harmless growths came out of nowhere. “HPV is ubiquitous,” says dermatologist Conway Huang, MD, an associate professor of dermatologic surgery and cutaneous laser surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2018. https://www.clinicalkey.com. And avoid brushing, clipping or shaving areas that have warts. Protect yourself in the gym locker room and shower by wearing rubber flip-flops or sandals. Picking may spread the virus. If you decide to use an over-the-counter salicylic acid or propane freezing solution, be sure that you’re diligent about using it. Sprinkled with black pinpoints, which are small, clotted blood vessels, The growths are painful or change in appearance or color, You've tried treating the warts, but they persist, spread or recur, The growths are bothersome and interfere with activities, You aren't sure whether the growths are warts, You are an adult and numerous warts begin to appear, which may indicate the immune system is malfunctioning, Children and young adults, because their bodies may not have built up immunity to the virus, People with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or people who've had organ transplants. Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies. Goldstein BG, et al. Blame common viruses that exist nearly everywhere. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Warts. Warts on eyelids is a variant of some common warts, and they are grouped as filiform warts. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001781.pub3/abstract. HPV viruses cause warts. HPV viruses cause the excessive and rapid growth of keratin, which is a hard protein on the top layer of the skin. If your warts are causing you emotional or physical discomfort, see a dermatologist, who can freeze or burn the wart off, or use immune boosting medicines. All rights reserved. Each person's immune system responds to the HPV virus differently, so not everyone who comes in contact with HPV develops warts. Warts occur more often in skin that has been broken. Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy linked below. The virus usually spreads through breaks in your skin, such as a hangnail or a scrape. Warts on Face Causes. Topical treatments for cutaneous warts. This explains why men may have warts in the beard area, while women often have them appear on the legs. Skip to main content Coronavirus Update Touching something contaminated with the virus, such as towels, doorknobs and shower floors. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. How They Spread. There are over 100 sub-types of this virus but only a few infect humans to cause warts on the skin. You can also get the virus from inanimate objects, like towels that have been used by someone with a wart.”. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only.