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Warts – harmless but annoying

Last Updated on 8. June 2023 by eschalch

Definition and appearance of warts, formation, treatment options, prophylaxis.

Warts are sharply defined, benign skin growths of various shapes with a rough surface. They occur mainly on the limbs, but almost never on the face.


Warts on the hands are mostly found on the fingers. They look like a mini cauliflower. Plantar nipples are flat pieces of skin with a hard edge and a soft center. They are often located where the bunion is exposed to pressure. On closer examination, small black dots can be made out in the wart. These are the result of bleeding that occurs when pressure is applied to the wart from the outside, such as when walking.


Warts are transmitted by viruses. The skin cells on the warts release thousands of viruses every day. By touching the wart or through the shed skin cells – for example on the floors of shower rooms in swimming pools – you can further infect yourself or others. The wet and therefore more susceptible skin of bathers is at risk of infection. They become infected especially quickly when the sole of the foot has small cracks. Blood does not transmit wart viruses. After infection, several months may pass before the formation of warts.

However, it is not known why some people become infected more easily – sometimes only over a period of time – while most do not show symptoms despite constant contact with the wart viruses. This has nothing to do with a general weakness of the immune system. Therefore, the probability of being infected by handshake is relatively low.


The doctor may apply corrosive agents such as salicylic acid as a solution or as a patch. In addition, the doctor can also ice a wart, scab it electrically or remove it by laser. Care should be taken with warts on or under the nails. This is because the treatment can cause growth disorders.

Many people also swear by home remedies such as the stem juice of celandine or dandelion. This must be freshly applied to the wart several days in a row. Also help a porridge of brown root leaves with a little salt. “Besprechen” is still used today in rural areas – according to statements by those affected, with success.

Warts heal very often but also quite suddenly and without further action of the affected person, especially in children. With patience, most warts generally disappear within six to twelve months. One morning, those plagued by warts look at their hands and all the warts are gone. At the same time, there is no treatment to remove warts with one hundred percent certainty. The treatment depends on the age of the patient, the number of warts and their location.


Affected individuals can reduce the risk of infecting others by covering the warts with colorless varnish.

Frequency of infection

Currently, more than 60 different viruses that can cause warts are known. Children and adolescents are particularly likely to become infected. A large proportion of children have warts at some point. However, warts are very rare in children under the age of three. Approximately five to ten percent of four- to six-year-olds have warts, and 15 to 20 percent of adolescents between the ages of 16 and 18. After that, the frequency of infection decreases sharply, and adults rarely suffer from it.