Facts Behind Four Pervasive Wart Myths

When you were a child, you might have heard that warts come from kissing a frog. While that’s obviously a myth, it’s not the only myth about warts that many people still spread. Here’s what you need to know about the facts behind four untrue beliefs about these bumpy skin growths.

Myth: Warts Aren’t Contagious

People's hands clapping in a circle

While warts definitely aren’t caused by touching a frog or toad, they can be spread from person to person. Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can be contracted through a tiny cut or abrasion if you touch an infected surface like a gym mat. It is important to note that warts may also spread on one individual from one area of the body to another through skin-to-skin or mucosa-to-skin contact. You can work with your dermatologist to create a skin care regimen to help prevent this.

Myth: Warts Are a Sign of Cancer

Although warts are not an early sign of cancer, certain types of HPV infections can raise the risk for some types of cancer. For example, the strain of HPV that causes genital warts is linked to an increased risk for cervical cancer in women and penile cancer in men.

Myth: Warts Have Roots

You might picture warts on the skin as the top of the tree, with deep roots in the underlying layers. While the root analogy has long been used to describe warts, these growths actually affect only the top layer of skin.

Myth: Warts Won’t Reappear Once Removed

According to Harvard Health Publishing, studies have indicated that about half of warts will go away on their own after about one year. However, it is possible for the HPV virus to sit dormant for months or even years before re-activating. That is why it is important to treat and prevent the spread of warts as much as possible.

Although warts can be bothersome, these uncomfortable growths can be eliminated with treatment from The Dermatology Clinic in Baton Rouge. Our doctors can determine whether the blemish in question is a wart and recommend the best option for removal, which may include cryotherapy (freezing), excision, or electrosurgery. Request an appointment online at one of our convenient locations.

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