Warts are benign growths on the skin caused by the human paoillomavirus (HPV). HPV infects the top layer of skin, usually entering the body in an area of broken skin. The virus causes the top layer of skin to grow rapidly, forming a wart. They can occur anywhere on the body. Most warts go away on their own within months or years.
Warts are easily spread by direct contact with someone who has the virus. You can infect yourself by touching the wart and then another part of your body. You can infect another person by sharing towels, razors, or other personal items. After contact with HPV, it can take many months of slow growth beneath the skin before you notice a wart.
It is unlikely that you will get a wart every time you come in contact with HPV. Some people are more likely to get warts than others.
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.
Warts should be treated to prevent them from growing or spreading. There are many different ways to treat warts. The provider will usually treat the warts by freezing them with liquid nitrogen. A series of treatments is usually required. More stubborn warts may require application of a topical medicine, or injection of a medication to help destroy the lesions.