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Are Warts Contagious?

Are Warts Contagious?

If you are around people who are plagued with wart skin infections, then you might be wondering if warts are contagious. This HealthHearty article not only answers your question, but also provides some simple home remedies for treating them.
Parul Solanki
Warts are the result of skin disorders caused by a virus of the human papillomavirus (HPV) family. They are usually characterized by small, round growth on parts of the body. Warts tend to affect the warm, moist parts or the cuts and scratches on various parts of the body. While most warts are quite harmless, some of them located on the feet or on other parts of the body, that tends to get touched all the time, can be quite painful and itchy.
There are many types of warts which include the common warts (Verruca Vulgaris), flat warts, genital warts, filiform warts (finger like warts around the mouth and nose), plantar warts (on soles of feet), and subungual and periungual warts (on finger and toe nails). Warts are not really contagious and the transmission happens only in certain cases. Here's as overview of what makes warts contagious.
Are All Warts Contagious
✧ While "kissing toads" (yuck!) or even holding them may not really give you warts, the virus may spread from one person to another by close physical contact.
✧ Touching a surface that an infected person has touched, such as a wet shower floor or a bathmat, can make you vulnerable to a wart infection. Indirect infections are quite frequent, especially from hard floors of bathrooms and swimming pools, where people with plantar warts have walked on.
✧ Scratches or cuts in any area of the body can also spread the infection. Picking the warts on the skin results in exposing the virus, which may then infect other body parts. When children bite and scratch the warts, it can not only break up and bleed, but also become more contagious.
Once a person is infected by the virus, it takes several months for the warts to develop. It is also observed that some people are more susceptible to the warts virus. To minimize the spread of warts and to make it less contagious, you need to provide effective treatment for the warts.
Treatment of Warts
Common warts are quite easy to remove and treat, if needed. There are a number of treatment alternatives for warts. These include:
  • Over-the-counter topical medications containing salicylic acid
  • Oral cimetidine taken to stimulate the immune system so it can fight the virus that causes warts
  • Cryosurgery or the process of freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen
  • Laser treatment which is especially recommended for the recalcitrant warts
  • A light electric current to burn off the wart
After the treatment, the warts may fall off on their own or recurrent treatments may be needed for the complete removal of the wart. These treatments may not be recommended for the face or the genital warts.
In addition to these treatments, there are certain home remedies for wart removal. In fact, the duct tape wart removal method is quite popular. For this treatment, you need to place a small strip of duct tape over the wart and leave it on for five to six days. Remove the tape after the sixth day and soak it in water. Using an emory board or pumice stone, gently deride the wart. Remember that, though you are looking for instant results, this treatment might not work so, as it can take around two to three months to get rid of the wart completely.
Do warts occur even after treatment? Sadly, yes, contagious warts can reoccur even after the treatment. To remove the warts completely, you would need to boost up your immune system to fight off the virus. The best way of avoiding warts, contagious or not, is by incorporating certain preventive measures in your daily routine. Wash your hands and skin regularly, especially when you have cuts and open wounds which are prone to wart infections. In public showers, pools, and locker rooms, make sure that you wear waterproof sandals to protect against plantar warts and infections.