Understanding Common Warts -- the Basics

Medically Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner, MD on April 26, 2022

After acne, warts are the most common dermatological complaint. Three out of four people will develop a wart (verruca vulgaris) at some time in their lives.

Warts are slightly contagious, and you can spread them to other parts of your body by touching them or shaving around infected areas.

Children and young adults are more prone to getting warts because their defense mechanisms may not be fully developed, but it is possible to get a wart at any age.

Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), which enters the skin and causes cells to multiply rapidly.

Usually, warts spread through direct contact. Each person responds differently, and not everyone exposed to HPV will develop a wart.

Show Sources

Photo Credit: CMUH / Science Source


The Mayo Clinic: "Common Warts."

American Academy of Dermatology: "Warts."

KidsHealth: "What's Up With Warts."

Children's Health – Photo Caption

DermNet NZ – Photo Caption

American Academy of Dermatology Association – Photo Caption

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