wart anatomy diagram

Viral Warts Affect 1 in 5 Young People

Viral warts on the skin are quite a common complaint.

They are estimated to affect around 1 in 10 of the general population but are even more more prevalent among the young – school-aged children and young adults – where around 20% are thought to suffer.

This tendency to affect young people may be thought to have some connection to the age of the patient’s skin, which tends to be softer in texture.  However, the issue is also in no small part due to the highly contagious nature of the wart virus and the way they spread.

The wart virus can be transmitted by direct physical contact with another person and can enter the skin through any abrasions such as tiny breaks, cuts, or scratches. So where people are working closely together, the risk of contracting or passing on warts is increased.

Young people tend to be more involved in communal sporting activities, where the warm wet environment can harbor the virus and allow it to pass from one person to another.

The wart virus is often picked up in swimming pools from walking on wet floor. Warts that develop on the soles of the feet are also called plantar warts or verruca (plural verrucas or verrucae).  Verrucas form a particularly tough, callus like spot on the sole of the foot with tiny black dots on the surface (a result of dried spots of blood in the vessels feeding it) and this can be quite painful to walk on.

Another environment where warts can spread easily is in the gym, where shower areas stay wet.

Sharing towels is also a risk, as the virus can be passed on.

It is sensible to be aware of the risk of passing on warts and take reasonable precautions to avoid passing on or catching the virus.

Professional Wart Removal

For stubborn warts, professional wart removal treatment is recommended, as more aggressive methods can be used than DIY/at home treatments.  Treatment using  freezing, laser or surgical techniques is available at Skin Surgery Laser Clinic who have a selection of locations conveniently based in London and Bristol. All procedures are carried out by highly trained and experienced doctors and surgeons.

Many patients now choose private treatment for warts, as provision on the NHS is very limited – even where a service is available, there can be lengthy waiting times.

For more information or to book a consultation, please complete the form on this web page or call 020 7386 0464.