When you were young, you likely heard the old wives tale that touching toads caused warts. It was once thought that the wart-like bumps on toads were contagious, but science has proven that these unsightly bumps are actually caused by a virus. In fact, warts are caused by the human papilloma virus, or HPV. The bump that you see is actually the result of infection and your body’s response to the virus.

Fortunately, common warts are relatively simple to cure. They often appear on the hands as rough and skin-colored, though some may appear darker. These spots are contagious, particularly if the other person currently has an open cut or wound. In most cases, warts don’t hurt or itch, but they can spread.

Your dermatologist can quickly and easily diagnose common warts by examining them.


Warts often go away on their own, but they can be unsightly and cause discomfort. In some cases, especially in adults, warts won’t disappear on their own and can be hard to treat. Your dermatologist has many options to help you banish warts, even those that are stubborn.

Cryotherapy involves the use of extreme cold to freeze the wart. The liquid nitrogen will have to be reapplied several times, but eventually, the frozen wart will fall off.

Excision involves actually cutting the wart off of the skin.

Cantharidin is a topically applied medicine that causes a blister to form under the wart, pushing it up and away from the skin.

In some cases, your dermatologist will combine electrosurgery and curretage to be rid of stubborn warts. The former involves burning the wart, then using the latter to scrape the burnt wart off of the skin.

If the above treatments don’t work, laser treatment may be pursued. Using direct, pointed light, warts are burned and destroyed.

Finding the best treatment for your requires the knowledge of an experienced dermatologist. At Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Institute, our providers can help you finally be rid of embarrassing warts using a combination of state of the art technology and our years of experience. Find out more about our services or schedule an appointment at one of our locations across Minnesota.