Common warts

Warts, seemingly innocuous skin growths, can carry a deeper story when caused by specific strains of HPV. Common warts, also known as verruca vulgaris, are a type of skin growth caused by infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV).

Common warts are primarily caused by certain strains of the human papillomavirus, particularly HPV types 2 and 4, but they can also result from other HPV types. These viruses can infect the top layer of skin and mucous membranes.

In many cases, common warts may resolve on their own without treatment, although this can take several months or even years. The immune system eventually recognizes and clears the virus. If common warts are bothersome, various treatment options are available.

Treatment options may include:


There are various over-the-counter (OTC) wart removers and home remedies that you can try. It’s important to follow the instructions carefully and be patient, as it may take some time for the wart to disappear.

  1. Salicylic Acid Products
  2. Cryotherapy
  3. Duct Tape
  4. Apple Cider Vinegar
  5. Over-the-Counter Pads and Plasters
  6. Wart Removal Kits: These kits often include a combination of salicylic acid, scraping tools, and adhesive pads to help remove the wart.


If OTC treatments do not work or if the warts are painful, large, or spreading, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional.

They can offer more aggressive treatments, such as

  1. Cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen,
  2. Laser therapy
  3. Surgical removal.

It’s also essential to keep in mind that even with successful treatment, warts may occasionally return, as the virus can remain in the skin.

Options for common warts

Many common warts disappear spontaneously

Others persist for years and recur in the same place or in different places. Common warts (verrucae vulgaris) are caused by HPV types 1, 2, 4, and 7, and occasionally other types in immunocompromised patients (e.g., 75 to 77). They are usually asymptomatic, although they sometimes cause mild pain when located on a weight-bearing surface (e.g., the soles of the feet).


Common warts can take various forms, including those with a rough, cauliflower-like appearance (verruca vulgaris), flat warts (verruca plana), and filiform warts.

Common warts are typically small, raised growths with a rough texture. They often appear as round or oval-shaped lumps and can vary in size from a few millimeters to about a centimeter in diameter. Warts may have a gray, brown, or flesh-colored appearance.

Common warts can appear on various parts of the body, but they are most commonly found on the hands, fingers, elbows, and knees. They can also occur on the face, particularly around the nails and the lips.

Source: Mayo Clinic

Butcher’s warts

These warts tend to develop on the hands of people who handle raw meat (like butchers) and those whose occupation involves frequent exposure to a cold, moist environment. A common wart that resembles a cauliflower in appearance.

HPV type 7 causes Butcher’s warts.


HPV is highly contagious, and common warts can be spread through direct skin-to-skin contact or by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus. The virus can also enter the skin through cuts or scratches.

Common warts are usually painless, but they can sometimes cause discomfort or pain if they are located in an area that experiences friction or pressure. They may also bleed if they are injured.


To reduce the risk of developing common warts or spreading them to others, it’s essential to practice good hand hygiene and avoid touching warts on your own body or someone else’s. You should also avoid picking at warts, as this can lead to further spread or infection.

NOTICE: OTC products available without a prescription (Paid affiliate link).

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