When the human papillomavirus(HPV) infects skin cells, they develop quicker than normal, resulting in warts.  They appear like small, fleshy bump on the skin or mucous membrane.Warts on the skin aren’t particularly contagious. They transmit from person to person by direct touch, primarily through skin tears. You can also get warts from surfaces like lockers, floors or showers, but there’s no way of knowing how common this is. Warts can spread from one part of the body to other, so wash your hands and everything else that comes into contact with your warts, including your personal items like nail cutters, nail files or pumice stones, etc.

The wart virus lives in the top layer of your skin, and no one knows where or when you got it from. It is also possible that the infection has been present for years. it forms a wart after years. Surprisingly, even if the wart has vanished, the virus can still be found on the skin layers.

Warts are small, generally painless growth on the skin caused by a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). They can be disfiguring and embarrassing. There are different types of warts including common warts, flat warts, genital warts, plantar warts etc.

Skin warts come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

1) Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid is inexpensive, has few adverse effects, and is available in a variety of over-thecounter forms, including liquids, gels, andpatches. The concentrations vary between 17% and 40%. (stronger concentrations should be used only for warts on thicker skin). But mind you, these are doctor prescribed acids and must be taken only after a consultation from a doctor.

2) Freezing (also called cryotherapy)

The wart and a small surrounding area are swabbed or sprayed with liquid nitrogen by a specialist. The severe cold (which can reach 321 degrees Fahrenheit) burns the skin, causing discomfort, redness, and, in most cases, ablister. It normally takes three or four treatments, one every two to three weeks, to get rid of the wart.

3) Other methods

Prescription medications can be used to treat warts that don’t respond to regular treatments. But again, these ointments or medicines can also backfire if not taken under proper guidance. Therefore, always consult a doctor beforehand.

4) Zapping and cutting (Electrodesiccation (or cautery) and curettage):

As the name suggests, the doctor uses local anaesthetic to dry the wart with an electric needle and scrape it away with a curette-like device. This method can also cause scarring. It’s typically used to treat warts that haven’t responded to conventional treatments.

When should you see your doctor?

At first glance, some skin tumours mimic warts. Consult a skin specialist if you see an increase in the number of warts. Warts can also bleed and if you see any of your warts bleeding then it should be addressed immediately.

Also, if you’re in your 50s and have new warts then also it is advisable to visit a doctor and get them checked.