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General Information

Image of common wart symptoms
Common wart on a finger
  • What are common warts?

    Common warts appear most often on the hands, but they may appear anywhere on the body.

  • How do I know I have them?

    Commonly diagnosed through visual inspection:

    • They are typically rough, gray-brown, dome-shaped growths.
    • They may have a cauliflower-like appearance.
    • Typically the size of a pencil eraser or smaller.
  • How do you get them?

    Like all warts, common warts are easily spread by direct contact with the human papillomavirus. Most people infect themselves again by touching the wart and then touching another part of their body. You can infect yourself or others by sharing towels, razors, or other personal items. After you’ve been infected with HPV, it can sometimes take many months of slow growth beneath the skin before you notice a wart.

  • How are they diagnosed?

    Both podiatrists and dermatologists are able to diagnose the condition accurately by look and feel, however in a rare case they may take a biopsy to make sure.

  • What treatment options are available?

    There are a range of treatment options available to patients with common warts, however effectiveness varies significantly. Options can vary from home remedies to surgical excision, however the two most common clinical approaches used in the United States for common warts are: Destruction and more recently Immunotherapy.

    Immunotherapy options appropriate for common warts now available include: Swift Microwave Therapy.

    The most commonly used Destructive Treatment for common warts are Cryotherapy and Salicylic Acid, however Cathandarin, Pulsed Dye Laser, Electrosurgery and Excision are also used.

  • What is the most effective treatment method?

    Historically, destructive methods have been the most common form of treatment, however they have proven largely ineffective as they are designed to eliminate signs and symptoms vs treating the root cause of the wart, the HPV virus. It is for this reason that Swift Microwave Therapy was developed, which we feel is the most effective method for common wart treatment as it stimulates the body to target the HPV virus itself. It should be noted that cryotherapy and salicylic acid are typically more effective on common warts (roughly 50%) vs plantar warts (14-33%), however still significantly less effective than Swift (75.9%+).

  • What should I do next?

    If the common wart is located on the lower extremities (Leg, Foot or Ankle), then you should see a podiatrist. If the common wart is located above the leg, then a dermatologist is recommended. We believe that Swift is the most effective and patient friendly treatment modality for common warts and would suggest visiting a clinic where this treatment is available. Find your nearest Swift Treatment facility via the Swift Clinic Locator.