How Are Warts Caused?

Most forms of viral infections are not usually harmful to the human body as the immune system starts to create antibodies to deal with them. However, in certain cases, such as warts, the immune system is not able to fight against the virus because it is not majorly affecting the body or the immune system is weak and can’t respond to this problem. Therefore, you should be avoiding all the reasons that cause warts as they are quite painful. 

What are Warts?

Warts are small circular bumps that appear on different parts of the body. They may be hard and yellowish. The warts were first discovered on different types of mummies about 3000 years ago.  Warts are treatable with different types of medication while surgical procedures are also present to remove warts. 

Unless you have genital warts, you don’t have to worry because they are not potentially dangerous. However, some medical experts have linked genital warts to cervical cancer because both of them are caused by HPV although the strands of the virus are quite different. The medication commonly used for warts is not advised for genital warts. Therefore, it is recommended to consult a doctor immediately after you get a wart on the genitals.

Genital warts may become dangerous too. 

Causes of Warts

There can be various reasons why warts have emerged on your body. 

Attack of HPV

The primary reason why warts are caused is due to the Human Papillomavirus (HPV).  This kind of virus is generally considered sexually transmitted which is why people may grow warts on their genitals but it may occur due to other reasons too. The virus may transmit from one person to another on parts such as feet, or arms. HPV creates an excess amount of protein and rapid cell growth on the top skin which results in the hard texture as well as pain. 

Close Skin Contact

The primary reason why HPV spreads is when people come into contact with each other. Therefore, if you are having close skin contact with someone who may be carrying HPV, there are high chances that you might also end up suffering from the problem. Grand parties, swimming pools, the use of the same towels, and other such aspects may result in the spread of HPV and the creation of warts. 

Warts appearing on fingers. 

Lack of Care

As identified by experts, the chances of getting warts are extremely low if you are taking proper care of yourself. People who don’t properly clean their hands and feet on a daily basis are at a higher risk of contracting HPV which may grow warts. Washing hands is very important especially after coming back home. For those that get to have genital warts, doctors suggest that this happens due to unprotected sex.     

Usage of Non-Sterilized Tools

Men and women both visit different types of salons. While men are more interested in getting a proper shave, women tend to visit the salons for pedicures and manicures. Although most modern salons and barbershops tend to keep their tools sterilized, there are a few who don’t pay attention to this aspect. As a result, you may contract HPV if the tools have not been cleaned properly. In case you are unsure, do ask your stylist to sterilize the tools in front of you every time you visit them. Men should always ask for a new blade for their razor when shaving. 

Make sure the tools being used on your body are sterilized. 

Damage from Existing Warts

Another reason why warts could be caused is that you haven’t taken care of existing warts. Some people try to do self-treatment in the wrong way which can cause more warts rather than healing them. In case you try to scratch, bite, or pinch a wart, the virus may be contracted to other parts of the body which results in the creation of more warts. Experts have said that in case you do have warts on your hands, you should wear gloves while in case of feet, try wearing socks. Damage from existing warts can sometimes be extremely painful because it leads to blood loss. 

Learn more about plantar warts here – What are Plantar Warts?

Treatment of Warts

There are various ways to remove warts but there is no guarantee that they won’t grow up again. 

Salicylic Acid Treatment

The majority of warts are treatable at home because of salicylic acid. You can get this at any pharmacy without a prescription. Gels like Duofilm and Corn Remover contain salicylic acid. Application of such a gel daily will help you in eliminating the wart completely within a few days. There are lotion applications as well which can help in removing warts. According to recent studies, salicylic acid has proven to be as effective as Cryotherapy, which is a very painful procedure for removing warts and corns. Fortunately, salicylic acid is not painful and just gives a freezing sensation to the affected area. 

It is recommended to soak your affected foot or hand inside water for at least 5 minutes prior to applying salicylic acid on it. This will be quite helpful as it will help in making the wart soft and ultimately helping the salicylic acid work better on it. You can also apply salicylic-acid-based plasters which may be a little bit painful but work well. However, the most important thing to consider is whether the application of salicylic acid on your body will be resistant or not. People with sensitive skin may not react well to salicylic acid. Do consult a doctor before treating yourself with any over-the-counter medicine. 

Effective Medicine for removing warts include

  • Compound W
  • Dr. Scholl’s Clear Away Wart Remover
  • Duofilm
  • Occlusal HP
  • Mediplast
  • H-WART

Cotton swabs soaked in salicylic acid can also be used as a treatment for warts.

Freezing Sprays and Duct Tape

Freezing sprays can be used to freeze the wart making it easier to remove. Freezing sprays generally contain dimethyl ether and propane which means you can scrape off the wart once you are done. Although warts can be treated with this method, it is not assured that it will work for all kinds of warts because some are just too big and deeply grown that they are not impacted by the freezing sprays. 

Alternatively, you can use the duct tape method which is not thoroughly backed by medical evidence. The process is quite similar to waxing hair from the body. All you need to do is apply the duct tape on the wart and then rapidly take it off. This may hurt but can remove the wart instantly in certain cases. 

Duct tape therapy is used as a home treatment for warts.


One main way of eliminating warts is with the help of cryotherapy. The process requires the use of liquid nitrogen and is carried out under the strict supervision of healthcare professionals. Using liquid nitrogen, the wart is frozen which destroys the cells and weakens the wart as well. With regular sessions of cryotherapy, you will eventually see that a blister will develop and the wart would be removed. In some cases, one session is fine as well. Anesthesia may be required if the wart is too big as the process is quite painful. Cryotherapy can also be performed for the treatment of genital warts. 

Liquid nitrogen tank used in cryotherapy


A painless way to treat warts is with the help of immunotherapy. This therapy is done to strengthen the immune system of the body in a way that it deals with HPV. Warts will end from the body when the immune system releases antibodies to counter HPV. However, many people don’t go for this because it is a time taking process to strengthen the immune system. Doctors usually do immunotherapy with the help of medicines as well as diet plans which help strengthen the immune system. A key benefit of using this technique is that the chances of regrowth of warts are very restricted as the immune system is now reacting to warts. 

Immunotherapy helps in overcoming warts. 

Injection Treatments

Skin specialists also recommend various injections that can be used to kill the virus. Bleomycin and Blenoxane are used to kill the virus. These injections may be expensive for you based on the country you are located in but are quite helpful in killing warts. Injection treatment is not recommended for warts right away and doctors usually perform the other possible treatments first as there can be reactions to the injections. 


Warts are not generally dangerous but they can be in case you have them in sensitive areas. The above-mentioned treatments are generally considered ideal for the treatment of common warts and plantar warts but it is still recommended that you consult the doctor before making any decision. Keep in mind that warts may recur in case you contract the virus again.