Most warts and verrucae will go away by themselves and don’t need any treatment. However, you may want to consider treatment if your wart or verruca becomes painful, unsightly or doesn’t go away.
There are many different types of treatment for warts but none works completely and doctors still aren’t sure which ones work best. It’s not unusual for your wart or verruca to return after treatment.
The most commonly used treatments for warts and verrucas are those containing salicylic acid, and cryotherapy (freezing). However, you could also consider laser treatment to remove them.
I've found a lump that looks like a wart on my skin, could it be something else?
There are many different types of warts and these can, occasionally, be mistaken for other skin conditions. Some types of skin cancer can also look similar to warts. If your wart or verruca (or any other skin lesion) is painful, itches, bleeds, or gets larger rapidly, see your GP to get it checked. Common warts are firm, raised growths with a rough surface, which might look like a very small cauliflower. They are commonly found on your hands, elbows, knees and feet. Warts can look similar to many other skin conditions including moles, skin tags and a viral skin infection called molluscum contagiosum.
Are warts cancerous?
Warts are benign (non-cancerous). However, occasionally some types of skin cancer can look a bit like warts. If you're worried about your wart or verruca, or any other recent changes in your skin, speak to your GP.
What does a verruca look like?
Verrucae, also known as plantar warts, are usually found on your feet. Verrucae can sometimes be mistaken for corns or calluses but these do not have tiny black dots within them.
Are warts and verrucae contagious?
Warts and verrucae can spread from person to person by direct skin contact. They can also spread by contact with floors or surfaces contaminated with the virus. Although warts are contagious, it's thought that the risk of catching them is fairly low. You're more likely to get infected if your skin is damaged or wet, so infection can be linked to swimming pools and communal showers. You can also infect yourself. If you scratch a wart or verruca, the viral particles may spread to other areas of your skin. You're more likely to develop warts and verrucae if you have a weakened immune system.