My Warts Are Spreading. What Should I Do?

In addition to being unsightly and embarrassing, warts can be itchy and painful. Having one wart is bad enough, but if it spreads, the situation can get out of hand quickly.

You can eliminate warts and stop them from multiplying, but you’ll need a plan and some help. That’s where we come in. Our Holladay Dermatology & Aesthetics team, led by Dr. Robert Topham, specializes in all things skin, and we understand the invasive nature of warts. Here’s what our experts recommend for wart-ridden skin.

What kind of wart do you have?

All warts are benign skin growths caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), but they’re not all the same. There are several types of warts, each with its own unique appearance and preferred location on the body.

Regardless of the type, all warts can spread from one area of the body to another or to other people through close skin-to-skin contact or by touching an object used by someone with the virus.

How to treat warts

The good news is that Dr. Topham can treat all kinds of warts with various methods.


Some warts respond well to topical salicylic acid treatments, which dissolve the wart over time. Another option is imiquimod, an immune response modifier that encourages your immune system to fight off the virus.

Freezing (cryotherapy)

We can also remove your wart with liquid nitrogen, which causes it to freeze and fall off.

Laser therapy

In some cases, Dr. Topham opts for a more advanced technology, laser therapy — an intense beam of light that destroys your wart.

Each treatment varies in its effectiveness, and what works best for you may depend on the size, location, and number of warts. Keep in mind that while treatments can remove the warts, none can completely eliminate the HPV virus, meaning your warts can reappear later.

How to prevent warts from spreading

Warts stem from the HPV virus, and like all viruses, they can spread. So, here are some practical steps to prevent warts from hopping onto other body parts or people.

The best way to stop your warts in their tracks is to see Dr. Topham.

When to see a dermatologist about your warts

While warts are usually harmless, you should consider making an appointment with Dr. Topham if:

  1. The wart is causing pain or discomfort
  2. You notice an increase in the size or number of your warts
  3. Over-the-counter treatments haven’t worked
  4. You aren’t sure if the growth is a wart
  5. You have a weakened immune system
  6. You have diabetes and a wart on your foot
  7. Your warts are itchy, painful, or bleeding

Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at Holladay Dermatology & Aesthetics in Holladay, Utah, so we can check your warts to treat them and stop them from multiplying as well as rule out other possible conditions.

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