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Warts - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What exactly are Warts and how are they Caused?

Warts are types of virus-induced skin growth. The culprit, in this case, is some variants of the HPV or the human papillomavirus. The skin’s top layer is usually affected and the virus makes its way into the body through a patch of broken skin. As a result of the infection, the skin’s top layer experiences rapid growth resulting in what is called a wart. Typically, warts wither away on their own within a span of a few months or years.All parts of the body are susceptible to warts and they are of different kinds too. Common warts are usually found on hands but may occur in other parts of the body too. The feet’s soles are the location for plantar warts, another common type of wart.

How do the affected areas spread?

Direct contact with HPV lets the condition propagate with ease. Suppose one person touches his wart then another body part then that body part too may develop warts. One must also be careful not to share personal items like razors, towels etc. with a person with warts. The growth of the skin is slow and it usually months after the infection that the wart takes it final shape.However, that does not mean each contact with HPV will result in warts. It may or may not occur. Some people are more vulnerable than others in this respect.

How is the diagnosis made?

Doctors especially dermatologists can tell if a skin growth is a wart just by having a look at it. The usual practice is to take a sample and conduct a skin biopsy. This is usually done in cases where there is a lack of clarity on the growth being a wart. Other reasons behind skin biopsy include that the growth is darker that it’s surrounding skin or is an irregular skin patch or is accompanied by bleeding or is excessively large or is growing too fast.

Doctors especially dermatologists can tell if a skin growth is a wart just by having a look at it. The usual practice is to take a sample and conduct a skin biopsy. This is usually done in cases where there is a lack of clarity on the growth being a wart. Other reasons behind skin biopsy include that the growth is darker that it’s surrounding skin or is an irregular skin patch or is accompanied by bleeding or is excessively large or is growing too fast.

What is the treatment?

Warts usually do not need specialized medical treatment. But sometimes they may cause pain or spread to other areas. In such situations doctors, usually do the following:

  • Recommend Home Remedies like duct tapes or salicylic acid which are available even in the absence of prescriptions.
  • Put a strong medicine on the infected growth or injecting it with medicines.
  • Freeze the offending growth which is called cryotherapy.
  • Warts may also be removed through surgery.

Treatment of warts is not always successful. Even after warts are subdued the may recur or even spread to previously unaffected areas. This is due to the fact that the virus is incurable and only the wart is destroyed.

Treatable by medical professional Usually self diagnosable Lab test not required Short-term: resolves within days to weeks Non communicable
Fleshy growth A tiny bump

Popular Health Tips

Genital Warts - How They Can be Diagnosed?

MBBS, MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Gynaecologist, Noida
Genital Warts - How They Can be Diagnosed?

Genital warts are a sexually transmitted disease caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and affects both men and women. Genital warts are treatable but can come back if the underlying infection is not treated properly.

Genital Warts appear as soft growths on the genitals and are known to cause itching, pain and discomfort. Although the disease affects both men and women, it causes more complications in women as some strains of HPV can cause cancer of the cervix and vulva.

Warts can appear on the penis, scrotum, groin, thighs, inside or around the anus for men. These can appear inside of the vagina or anus, outside of the vagina or anus or cervix for women. They can also appear on the mouth, lips, tongue, throat of the person who engages in oral sex with an infected person. Sometimes the warts may be invisible to the eye and still cause symptoms like vaginal discharge, itching, bleeding or a burning sensation.

Symptoms of Genital Warts: HPV is very common and nearly 70 pc of the people are infected around the genital area. The Center for Disease control (CDC) says that most sexually active people, are affected by the disease at some point of there life. It is important to note that although the disease is transmittable through skin-to-skin contact, it doesn't spread from the hand to the genitals or vice versa.


  • Genital Warts can be diagnosed by performing a physical examination of the infected areas by a medical professional. Since some warts can be inside a woman's body, a doctor may have to conduct a pelvic exam. While conducting the test they use a mild acidic solution which makes the Genital Warts more visible.
  • A Pap smear test may also be conducted, in which a swab of the area is taken from inside your cervix. Apart from that doctors may also ask questions about a person's sexual history as well as health as ask if they have participated in unprotected sex, including oral sex.

Treatment: Visible Genital warts go away with time; however treatment is essential to prevent their return. The virus cannot be eliminated once it is in your bloodstream, which makes it possible that an infected person will have many break outs in their life. Managing the symptoms of Genital warts is important as they can be easily passed on to your sexual partner, even if there are no visible symptoms.

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Warts vs. Moles - All You Need To Know!

Dermatologist, Delhi
Warts vs. Moles - All You Need To Know!

Everyone wants to have a bright and radiating skin. But blemishes and skin abnormalities are common and can occur due to lifestyle, diet or hormonal imbalances. Moles and warts are typical skin issues. But how do you tell them apart?

Moles – What are they?

Hardly ever causing pain, they appear in many different colours and can be bumpy or flat. Most often of red, brown or black colour, they occur as a result of skin pigmentation called melanocytes. They can be caused due to direct exposure to sunlight or due to genetic factors as well. They can appear in any part of the body and form slowly, taking a long time to grow.

Warts – What are they?

Small bumps or rough growth on the skin that appear in hands, legs, fingers, soles of the feet, face or in the genital area manifest as warts. They are white or pale. They occur as a result of harmful virus infection of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and hence, can be contagious. As opposed to moles, warts need to be removed quickly since a virus causes them.

How do you differentiate a mole from a wart?
Below are some common characteristics of each that can help you identify the skin problem:


  • Either flat or elevated from the skin, they are commonly referred to as beauty marks or birth marks.
  • At times, they have hair growing from them.
  • Usually, they have one colour – mostly on the darker side.
  • It cannot be transmitted between people.
  • They are generated by a collection of pigment cells in the body and darken during hormonal changes.
  • They tend to become cancerous and lead to melanoma.


  • They are harmless, yet contagious.
  • They have small black or dark dots in the centre that are tiny blood vessels, which provide them with nutrients.
  • They grow outwards on the skin with a scaly or bumpy deposit.
  • They can grow anywhere on the body, but are commonly found in feet, hands or fingers.

How to treat warts and moles?

The good news is that both warts and moles do not pose a grave risk to your health, but they are annoying and can turn dangerous in the long run. Especially with warts, you can give it to someone or acquire from someone, since it is a type of virus infection. So, seek medical assistance if you want them to be removed from your skin.

Be aware of the difference between warts and moles to know what you are dealing with. 

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4071 people found this helpful

Warts - Dermatological Treatments For It!

MBBS, DDV, Aesthetic medicine
Dermatologist, Delhi
Warts - Dermatological Treatments For It!

Have you been noticing bumps on your skin surface? Does the top of this growth resemble a cauliflower and feel bumpy or smooth when you touch it? These are the symptoms of a disease known as warts, which is caused by HPV or human papillomavirus. Generally, warts are not very dangerous, but they are ugly, contagious and may cause pain as well. Warts may be caused by more than 100 types of HPV viruses. A certain type of HPV causes warts around the genitals. In women, these are called genital warts and it is a severe disease.

All warts do not require treatment and disappear on their own. This is because over time, the body’s immune system can destroy the HPV virus which causes warts. A wart needs to be treated when it is painful, embarrassing, gets irritating easily, spreads to other parts of the body or spreads to other people. The goal of the treatment is to eliminate or remove the wart, avoiding a scar tissue. Creating a scar tissue would cause more pain than the wart. The treatment of warts depends upon the type, location and specific symptoms of the disease.

Warts can be treated at home using salicylic acid and duct tape. Most warts do not require treatment, but in case the symptoms worsen and do not go away on their own, you require proper care.

Medical treatment

The medical treatment for warts prescribed by a doctor includes the following:

  1. Cryotherapy
  2. Certain medicated creams and ointments
  3. Surgical methods such as electrosurgery or laser surgery
  4. Chemical peels with certain acids
  5. Excision or cutting of the warts

Before going for a treatment, it is important to detect the exact type of wart. Treatment for some types of warts may be quite painful with the chances of a scar tissue. Warts which lie beneath the skin are difficult to treat and the doctor might need to make an incision on the skin over the wart to let the medicine penetrate through it.

An HPV vaccine can be taken to protect men and women from the common warts caused by HPV viruses. This vaccine can be taken up to the age of 26. The vaccine should be taken before getting sexually active and is more effective when taken before being exposed to the HPV virus. In order to prevent transmission of the HPV virus, having protected sex is recommended. In case of any severe symptoms of warts, you must consult a doctor immediately.

2659 people found this helpful

Genital Tract Infection - Common Causes Behind It!

Gynaecologist, Gurgaon
Genital Tract Infection - Common Causes Behind It!

While genital infections are an uneasy topic to discuss and seek treatment for, ignoring them leads to severe complications like infertility and even death. Most of these can be treated with a regular course of antibiotics and some topical treatment when identified early. Genital infections can be broadly classified into sexually transmitted and non-sexually transmitted. Read on to know some more common infections in both the categories.

Sexually transmitted diseases:

  1. Chlamydia: Caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis, it is the most common STD (sexually transmitted disease) and affects about 10% of 20 to 30 year olds. It is often asymptomatic, but in few cases, there could be increased vaginal discharge. Left undetected, it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and subsequently infertility.
  2. Gonorrhea: The bacteria Neisseria gonorrhea causes this STD, which is very common. There could be some irritation or discharge, but is mostly asymptomatic. Like Chlamydia, if not treated, it can lead to PID and infertility.
  3. HIV: The most dangerous of all, it causes AIDS, with immunosuppression as a major effect and affecting overall health. The women affected by HIV are more prone to candida and other genital infections.
  4. Genital warts: This viral infection is caused by human papilloma virus (HPV) and manifests as multiple warts on the vulva, vagina, and cervix and can cause cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (precancerous).
  5. Genital herpes: This virus again causes multiple small vesicles and ulcers around the vagina, painful urination, and swelling of the lymph nodes. Caused by type 1 herpes virus more commonly than type 2, it has a high chance of recurrence.
  6. Trichomonas: This STD manifests with very few symptoms and can go undetected for a long time. It can lead to PID and infertility.
  7. Syphilis: Caused by Treponema pallidum, there are 3 stages. The primary stage presents with an ulcer. The secondary presents with a rash, multiple genital warts, and oral warts/ulcers. It then goes into a latent phase and may subside without progression. In some cases, it reaches the tertiary stage and can affect various body organs including the liver, heart, or brain.

Non-sexually transmitted diseases: There two major genital infections not transmitted by sex are bacterial vaginosis and candidiasis.

  1. Bacterial vaginosis (BV): Constant change in the bacteria mix present in the genital area produces an imbalance and leads to altered pH and therefore BV. Pregnancy, intrauterine device, and frequent douching are proven risk factors for developing BV.
  2. Candidiasis: The genital tract usually has yeasts, and Candida vaginalis is present in the vagina. An overgrowth of this leads to infection. This can be caused by use of antibiotics (which destroy the good bacteria), diabetes, pregnancy, and birth control pills.

Early diagnosis and intervention of these infections can prevent severe symptoms in most cases. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.

2634 people found this helpful

Vaginal Rashes - What Do They Indicate?

MBBS, MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Advanced Infertility
Gynaecologist, Mumbai
Vaginal Rashes - What Do They Indicate?

What is a vaginal rash?

Although vaginal rashes can be identified with non infectious conditions, for example, hypersensitive responses and contact dermatitis, many are because of sexually transmitted diseases. The zone around the vagina might be blushed with sores or blisters or it might hold its typical shading yet have bumps. Different side effects, for example, discharge, burning sensation during urination, pain or tingling, may likewise happen.

Not all sexually transmitted diseases cause vaginal rashes; the ones that most regularly do are syphilis, genital herpes and human papillomavirus (HPV). Genital herpes normally causes groups of excruciating red blisters that might be irritated. Syphilis might be connected with a lone, painless, red sore on the vulva that might be followed by a rash on the hands and feet. Genital warts may develop as an after effect of HPV disease.

What is it caused by?

It can happen as a result of rubbing against the skin, like from uncomfortable underwear or rough sanitary napkins. These are not harmful and non-contagious. Also, these are usually minor and get cured with home remedies.

  1. Contact Dermatitis: This can be caused when you come in contact with a substance that can cause irritation or an allergy. This is called contact dermatitis. It can be very itchy, but it is not serious very often.

  2. Pubic lice: These are caused by tiny parasites, such as insects that survive by sucking on blood from humans.

  3. Candidiasis (yeast infections): This can cause rashes in the moist folds of the vaginal skin.

  4. Scabies: It is a skin condition, which can get very itchy and is caused due to little mites digging into your skin.

  5. Psoriasis: These are characterised by little red or wine red coloured bumps with silvery scaly skin on top of that. It is commonly found on the knees, elbow or scalp, but it can occur on any part of the body. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist.

4239 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Hi doctor I have some health problems Warts on fingers palms Red bumps on shoulder Red bumps at back neck Acne on face Sweat more by face n head while in a hot area open sun and when joining a large group of people. Give proper treatment.

Dermatologist, Chennai
Acne or pimples. Due to hormonal changes. Oily skin causes it. Common in adolescent age. May occur in adults also. Food like Oily foods, ice cream, chocolate and sweets increase it. Treatment depends on the grade of pimples or acne. So, please send photos by direct online consultation as it's a must to see which grade of pimples or acne for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

How am I suppose to cure warts on my vaginal lips? I have developed them since last month. I have been sexually active since the last two years but these warts developed suddenly.

MCh(Minimally Invasive & Robotic Surgery), MS - Surgical, MBBS
General Surgeon, Guwahati
The warts are usually caused by HPV. And often gets controlled with Salicylic acid application. Trichloro Acetic Acid is also very good against them. If they are extensive, the need cauterisation. You are from a nearby place of my city clinic. Why don't you visit my clinic?

I am 18 years old. My face has many warts since last 2 months. Earlier I had laser treatment but warts are seen. What should I do? Please helps me.

Dermatologist, Chennai
Undergo laser removal therapy. Otherwise, few creams also available. Contact me by direct online consultation for treatment.

I have a big wart above the left eyebrow and it looks very ugly on my face. I want to remove this wart, should I go for laser removal remedies? Please provide me the prescription or suggestion. Regards.

MBBS, MD (Skin & V.D. MAMC) - Dermatology
Dermatologist, Delhi
There are no medication for viral warts. Aim is to try to remove viral wart as soon as it erupts do as to decrease the viral load and hence recover fast so that your own immunity is able to fight it.
1 person found this helpful

Sir/mam there is a sore in between my back and urine organ and it is small sore pimple type, my question is that am I suffering from piles?

DNB (Surgical gastroenterology, MS( General Surgery), MBBS, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, Diploma in Minimal Access Surgery, Fellow of International College of Robotic Surgeons
Surgical Gastroenterologist, Delhi
Please get examined by a general/GI Surgeon for confirmation of diagnosis and further treatment. **For complete evaluation and treatment, Kindly visit the doctor in person with all available reports. *This is just an preliminary opinion not to be used for medico-legal purpose.

Table of Content

What exactly are Warts and how are they Caused?

How do the affected areas spread?

How is the diagnosis made?

Doctors especially dermatologists can tell if a skin growth is a wart just by having a look at it. The usual practice is to take a sample and conduct a skin biopsy. This is usually done in cases where there is a lack of clarity on the growth being a wart. Other reasons behind skin biopsy include that the growth is darker that it’s surrounding skin or is an irregular skin patch or is accompanied by bleeding or is excessively large or is growing too fast.

What is the treatment?

Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice