Should I See a Dermatologist for Warts?

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  • Written By: Beth Lytle
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 05 September 2019
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Warts typically go away on their own or with use of over-the-counter medication, and most people do not need to see a dermatologist for warts. You should see a dermatologist for warts if they begin to spread or if over-the-counter treatments are unsuccessful. If you have warts on your genital area, you should see a dermatologist immediately.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes warts, which are a type of skin infection. They are not cancerous, but they are contagious, spreading when a person comes into contact with a wart or with something that has touched a wart. People are more likely to get HPV if their skin is cut or damaged. Warts can grow on any part of the human body and range from skin-colored to brown or a gray-black color. They can be flat or smooth but might also feel rough.

You can prevent warts by following a few simple steps. Avoid walking barefoot in public places, such as pools or locker rooms. Show caution when you are around other people who are known to be infected with warts.

If your skin comes into contact with a wart, disinfect it immediately. If you find a wart on your body, don’t pick at it, touch it or try to remove it on your own. First, try using an over-the-counter treatment. If that fails, you might need to see a dermatologist for warts.


The most common types of warts are plantar's warts and common warts. When HPV infects the genital area, the infection is called genital warts, and you should see a dermatologist for warts as soon as possible if this happens. Common warts typically appear around the fingernails and hands, and they more often affect children where their skin has been broken or their fingernails have been bitten or chewed. Plantar’s warts show up on the bottoms of the feet as flat, sometimes painful circular shapes that can become agitated when walking or pressure is put on the area.

Common warts and plantar’s warts might be annoying and can be painful, but they are not considered to be a serious health issue, and most cases would not require you to see a dermatologist for warts. Genital warts are a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and are considered to be a serious health issue, so you should see a dermatologist for warts if you think that you have found any in the genital area. The HPV that causes the warts can develop into cervical cancer in women or penile cancer in men, and it can be transmitted to a child at birth.



Discuss this Article

Post 3

I think the only situation where I would rush to the doctor immediately is if I had genital warts. I know that genital warts are caused by STDs. So I would want to get STD testing as soon as possible.

I've had regular hand warts and plantar warts before. I didn't worry too much about either. I could have seen a dermatologist for plantar warts earlier but the HPV wart on my hand went away on its own.

Post 2

@fify-- If warts are getting bigger or multiplying, I think it's time to find a dermatologist. The same applies if the wart looks infected and if it's full of pus.

There are home remedies that you can try for warts. But they usually take some time to work and you might get even more warts in that time frame.

Are you keeping your hand clean? If you don't wash your hands frequently and if you touch the warts and then touch other parts of your body, you will get more warts. Warts are viral, so you need to pay attention to hygiene.

Post 1

I had a wart on my hand. I used over-the-counter medicine for it, but it made no difference. Now, two more warts have popped up near it. Do I have to see a dermatologist for wart removal? Will they keep multiplying if I don't?

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