Everyone used to believe that you got warts if you did things like picking up a toad or touching the warty nose of the fairytale witch in the woods. Most people now know that stuff’s baloney, but there are still lots of questions surrounding warts.
Since we’re wart experts at Matsuda, let’s answer some of those questions.
What causes a wart to form?
Warts occur when the human papilloma virus (HPV) comes in contact with your skin and causes an infection. You may have heard of HPV in relationship to cervical cancer, but there are over 150 related viruses under the HPV umbrella. The virus usually infects a person through an area of broken skin. HPV causes the top layer of the skin to grow rapidly; that’s why warts rise above the height of the rest of the normal skin.
Are warts contagious?
Yes indeed, just not from Mr. Toad or his Wild Ride. Although if the kid running Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disneyland has a wart on his hand and he touches your hand, you could get the virus. Or you can get it from surfaces that touched someone else’s warts like towels.
Can you spread warts to different parts of your body?
Yes. That’s why you shouldn’t pick at your warts. And you should wash your hands after you touch one of your warts.
What are those black dots?
Some people think the black dots in warts are seeds. Not so. These black specks are visible blood vessels that are supplying the wart with nutrients and oxygen.
Will warts go away on their own?
Some warts simply go away when your body beats down the virus. Others are more stubborn. At Matsuda, we think it’s best to treat warts to keep them from spreading.
You can try over-the-counter home products such as salicylic acid. They can be effective, but usually will take weeks or months to fully work because their concentrations are very low.
Getting rid of warts
But if you come into our offices at Matsuda, we have more effective wart treatments: injections to kill the virus, cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen freezing), electrosurgery, curettage (scalpel excision), and laser surgery. If the virus isn’t addressed, however, the warts can come back.
So, put down the toad and pick up the phone and call 808-949-7568. Doctors Matsuda and Sheu will take care of those warts for you!