Health Library: Verruca Vulgaris

What is a verruca vulgaris?

A viral wart is a very common skin growth caused by infection with human papilloma virus (HPV).

Who gets viral warts and how are they spread?

Warts are common in children, but can occur at any age. People who have eczema or are immunosuppressed are more likely to get warts. Warts are spread by direct skin-to-skin contact. If a wart is picked or scratched, viral particles can be spread to another area of skin.

What is the treatment of warts?

Warts are benign, and do not require treatment if they do not trouble the patient. If they are painful or cause discomfort, warts can be treated with over the counter salicylic acid. In a dermatology office, warts are treated routinely with cryotherapy, which involves applying liquid nitrogen to the wart. It may take multiple treatments for a wart to fully resolve.

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