Common warts – Symptoms and causes

common wart removal

The common warts are small and grainy skin growths which happen most often on your fingers or hands. They are rough to the touch. Often, common warts feature a pattern of tiny black dots, which are small and clotted blood vessels. It is known that common warts are caused by a virus and they are transmitted by touch. They are slightly contagious. You can spread common warts to yourself, when you are touching or shaving around the infected areas. It can take a long time, something between 2 – 6 months, to develop the common wart after your skin has been exposed to the virus. Usually, it is harmless and they eventually disappear on their own.

Many people choose to remove them, because they find them embarrassing or bothersome. It is second of the most common dermatological complaints, after acne. It is noticed that three out of four people will develop it at some period of their lives. Children and young adults have more chances of getting common warts, because their immune systems are not fully developed, but it is possible to get common wart at any age [1,2]. These it is benign tumors. HPV is the most common cause for it, but not every single person who has contact with this virus, will develop common warts for sure.

common warts treatment

Common warts  symptoms

Usually, it happen on your fingers or hands and they can be:

  • They can be sprinkled with black pin – points, which are small, clotted blood vessels
  • Rough to the touch
  • Flesh – colored, white, pink or tan
  • Small, fleshy, grainy bumps

If it is painful or they change in appearance or color, then you need to see your doctor. If you have tried treating the common warts, but they persist, spread or recur, then schedule an appointment with your doctor. Also, you need to see your doctor if it is bothersome and they interfere with activities. If you are not sure if the growths are common warts, then talk with your doctor about this condition. If you are adult and you have noticed that numerous warts begin to appear, then visit your doctor, because this can indicate that your immune system is malfunctioning. Your doctor will examine your warts to be sure what is the cause for it.

Also, he or she will scrape off the top layer of the wart to check for signs of dark and pinpoint dots (these are clotted blood vessels), because they are very common with the common warts. He or she will remove a small section of the wart and it will send it to a laboratory for analysis to be sure for the type of your skin growth. In the most cases, common warts go away without treatment, but this can take somewhere between one to two years and in meantime, new ones may develop nearby.

Many people choose to have their common warts treated by a doctor, because home remedies are not working and the warts are bothersome, they are spreading or they are a cosmetic concern. The goal of the treatment is to destroy it and to stimulate an immune response to fight against the virus which is the cause for this condition.

Common warts  causes

HPV (human papillomavirus) is the cause for it. The HPV is very common virus and it has more than 150 types, but only a few will cause common warts on your hands. Some strains of HPV can be transmitted through sexual contact. But, the most strains of HPV that are responsible for common warts are transmitted by casual skin contact or through shared objects, such as washcloths or towels. Usually, this virus spreads through breaks in your skin, such as a scrape or hangnail. [3]

The immune system of every single person responds different to the HPV virus, so it does not mean that everyone who comes in contact with this virus will develop common warts for sure.

Risk factors

Below are given some factors which can increase your risk of common warts:

  • People who have weak immune system, such as people who have had organ transplants or people who suffer from HIV/AIDS. [4,5]
  • Children and young adults, because their bodies may not have built up immunity to this virus. [1,2]


[1] Liu J, Li H, Yang F, et al. Epidemiology and clinical profile of cutaneous warts in Chinese college students: A cross-sectional and follow-up study. Scientific Reports. 2018;8.

[2] Essa N, Saleh MA, Mostafa RM, et al. Prevalence and factors associated with warts in primary school children in Tema District, Sohag Governorate, Egypt. Journal of the Egyptian Public Health Association. 2019;94.

[3] Cubie HA. Diseases associated with human papillomavirus infection. Virology. 2013;445(1-2):21-34.

[4] Nasser N. Treatment of common warts with the immune stimulant Propionium bacterium parvum. Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia. 2012;87(4).

[5] de Camargo CC, Tasca KI, Mendes MB, et al. Prevalence of anogenital warts in men with HIV/AIDS and associated factors. The Open AIDS Journal. 2014;8:25-30.


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