Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Common Warts Overview


Preventing Common Warts

Once you have them, common warts can be notoriously difficult to get rid of. Therefore, it's important to reduce your chances of developing warts in the first place.

One easy way to reduce your chances of developing common warts is by cleaning cuts or scratches on your skin. Even a tiny break in your skin makes you more susceptible to warts.

Just as the athlete's foot fungus loves dampness, so do some types of HPV. Wearing flip-flops when you walk on wet surfaces, such as in a locker room or at a swimming pool, is an easy way to decrease your exposure to plantar and common warts.

Even though there's no guarantee that you'll get a wart by touching someone else's wart, it's wise to wash your hands with soap and water if contact occurs. In fact, regular hand-washing is a good precaution whether or not you've come into contact with someone who has warts. For one thing, someone who doesn't have any visible warts might still harbor the virus and pass it along to you.

You also need to protect yourself from, well, yourself. As we've learned, if you've got common warts, there's a risk that you'll spread warts from one part of your body to another. To prevent this from happening, you should never pick at, rub or scratch a wart. Don't bite your fingernails or chew hangnails. You should also designate a nail clipper and file to use on fingers that are infected with warts. Of course, even if you don't have warts, biting fingernails and picking at hangnails is still a bad idea -- these habits can lead to breaks in the skin, which leaves you susceptible to acquiring HPV.

Despite your best efforts to avoid warts, you still might find them cropping up. Common warts can go away on their own, but read on to find out options for speeding up the healing process.


More to Explore