Warts and Plantar Warts - Topic Overview
Warts are usually painless. But a wart
that grows in a spot where you put pressure, such as on a finger or on the
bottom of the foot, can be painful.
How are warts diagnosed?
A doctor usually can tell
if a skin growth is a wart just by looking at it. Your doctor may take a sample
of the wart and look at it under a microscope (a skin biopsy). This may be done if it is not clear that the
growth is a wart. It may also be done if a skin growth is darker than the skin
surrounding it, is an irregular patch on the skin, bleeds, or is large and
How are they treated?
Most warts don't need
treatment. But if you have warts that are painful or spreading, or if you are
bothered by the way they look, your treatment choices include:
- Using a home treatment such as salicylic acid
or duct tape. You can get these without a prescription.
Putting a stronger medicine on the wart, or getting a shot of medicine in
- Freezing the wart (cryotherapy).
- Removing the
wart with surgery (electrosurgery, curettage, laser surgery).
Wart treatment does not always work. Even after a wart
shrinks or goes away, warts may come back or spread to other parts of the body.
This is because most treatments destroy the wart but do not kill the virus that
causes the wart.
Frequently Asked Questions