Warts

Warts are common, benign growths on the skin with an uneven, sometimes fissured surface.

Overview

Warts are common, benign growths on the skin with an uneven, sometimes fissured surface. Warts are primarily caused by human papillomaviruses (HPV). Warts are usually painless and can be treated with topical medication from the pharmacy.

Symptoms

Main symptoms

  • Rounded, horny skin bumps up to the size of a pea, with a rough surface
  • Often located on the backs of the hands and fingers
  • Usually painless

Other symptoms

  • Warts on the sole of the foot grow into the skin (plantar warts)
  • Painful
  • Genital warts are discussed in another article ("HPV")

Causes and treatment

Causes

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • A diagnosis is usually based on careful observation
Possible therapies
  • Electrocoagulation
  • Cryotherapy (freezing of the warts)
  • Laser treatment

What can I do myself?

  • Special plasters and topical medication are available from the pharmacy
  • Don’t cut, scratch or pick off warts
  • The disinfectants used at swimming pools provide protection against plantar warts

When to see a doctor?

Synonyms

vulgar warts, verruca vulgaris, verrucae vulgares

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CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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