3855 Trueman Court | Hilliard, Ohio | 43026
Hilliard Pediatrics, Inc. - Dr. Tim Teller, MD
Warts are a viral infection of the skin passed from person to person. It is certain strains of the human papilloma virus that cause warts (not the same strains that cause cervical cancer; the Gardisil vaccine that helps protect against cervical cancer does not help protect against warts). Warts can appear many places on the skin, but the feet, hands, and knees are the most common areas. Some people are prone to warts and get them more often than others, while some people will never get a wart. Common ways of getting exposed to warts is through contact with others. You do not need to actually touch the person’s wart, just touch something that the wart touched – a mat at gymnastics or martial arts class, the area around a pool, a tub or shower, a toy, a play area, etc. All of us likely get exposed to warts in our lifetime. If someone does have a wart or warts, the chances of spreading it to someone else is small, but it sure can happen.
Warts typically last a few months to 2-3 years if left untreated. They can spontaneously clear up as your immune system “kicks it out” on its own. Most people only develop one to a few warts at a time, however some children and adults will have many more – as many as 20-30 at a time. There are some people that will never have a wart.
Since warts can improve with time, treatment is not necessary. We generally recommend treating the warts if they are painful, in a cosmetically important area, or spreading. So if a wart or warts are not bothering someone and not spreading, it is fine to watch – even for a couple years.