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Don’t Fall for These 10 Wart Myths

by De C - July 25 , 2019


Throughout history warts have gotten a bad rap. We all know the saying, “Love me, warts and all.” Not to mention the stereotypical witch is decked out, right down to the wart on the end of her nose. However, warts are a lot more common than people think and can be easily treated when you know their cause. Unfortunately, a lot of myths have made the rounds about warts and many of them should be ignored completely. Here are our top ten wart myths we feel need to be laid to rest.

1. Toads cause warts.

This one is the granddaddy of wart myths and it’s complete and utter bunk. Warts are caused by a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). There are eight different types of warts that can be found on the body, but they are all linked back to HPV. While HPV is transmitted via skin contact, toad skin is not the same. Instead, this myth was likely started because of the similarity warts have to the skin of a toad, but it’s okay, go ahead and kiss as many as you’d like. They won’t give you warts.

2. Warts cause cancer.

This myth is mostly false, but there are a very small percentage of warts that can be cancer-causing. Those that could be considered are typically genital warts. Unchecked HPV can cause abnormalities in the cells of the cervix and penis, which may lead to the growth of cancer cells in these areas. All other warts are not going to cause cancer, though your best option is always to get your HPV in check.

3. Condoms will eliminate the chance of genital warts.

While condoms are vital for preventing STIs of any kind, HPV is transmitted via skin-on-skin contact. When you have sex, more than just your genitals make contact and as a result, the virus might still be passed on. So, while it won’t protect you 100%, condoms will greatly reduce your risk. Your best option is to get the HPV vaccine (particularly if you’re younger) and/or make sure you or your partner gets their HPV under control by seeing your doctor to determine the best treatment options.

4. All warts are flesh-colored.

Nope, this one is not true at all. Warts can come in a variety of colors including ordinary flesh-color, yellow, black, gray, whiteish, tan, or even have a black/red dot in the middle. If you spot a wart, or any abnormal skin growth, it’s best to see your doctor to have it properly diagnosed so a treatment plan can be made.

5. Warts only develop on the hands.

While it’s true warts are most commonly found on the hands, they can actually develop on the hands, feet, face, and genital area. Where they crop up depends on what kind of warts you have. There are eight different types of warts caused by human papillomavirus, so talk to your doctor if you spot a wart somewhere on your body.

6. Only people with multiple partners get genital warts.

You can rest easy for a number of reasons with this one. Because HPV can be passed on by contact, it doesn’t matter if it’s your first partner or your fifteenth. To add to that, HPV can actually lie dormant in the body for up to 20 years, so you can even get it from your long-term partner without it being a sign of infidelity.

7. The specks in the middle of a wart are “seeds” or “roots.”

A lot of people still believe warts have “roots” in the center that go down deeper and need to be killed off before a wart really goes away. However, the center ring or even a little speck of black or red dot in the middle isn’t a “seed” or “root.” It’s actually the ends of tiny blood vessels that have been disrupted by the wart’s development and growth. There is no need to dig them out in order to eradicate a wart. Any treatment provided by your doctor will take care of the wart.

8. Warts are not contagious.

While touching a wart won’t necessarily mean you’ll get one yourself, HPV can be transmitted via touch with someone who’s infected. You’ll want to wash your hands or any other part of your body that’s come in contact as quickly as possible. Human papillomavirus enters the bloodstream quickly, however, so you may want to connect with your dermatologist to see what they recommend. Genital warts are some of the most contagious, so it’s important to protect yourself or your partner and much as possible, using condoms and other recommendations by your doctor.

9. Warts can’t be removed.

This is definitely a myth. While they shouldn’t be dug out, warts do have some very successful treatment options available—both surgical and medication-wise. There is electrosurgical wart removal, freezing a wart, and prescription or over the counter medications, such as over-the-counter (OTC) generic Cantharone/Cantharidin or prescription Cantharone Plus.

10. Cutting off the wart will get rid of it.

On the flip side are the people who believe treatment will get rid of a wart forever. Unfortunately, there is no cure for human papillomavirus and even a wart that has been removed by a doctor can reemerge at any time. This includes any that were treated by medications, with cryotherapy, or any other method. It all depends on how HPV affects you.

As you can see, there are plenty of myths floating around about warts. If you or someone you love has warts, getting the proper treatment for them is key. Remember to seek a Dermatologist’s help, as not all warts can be treated the same way. Genital warts, for example, need to be treated differently than the common wart. If you’re looking for a treatment to cover most wart types not on sensitive skin areas, consider the OTC Cantharone 0.7%/7.5ml or talk to your doctor about rx Cantharidin Plus. We carry both here at CanadaWide Pharmacy and ordering with us online has never been easier.

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