How do you get warts?

Warts – small, grainy skin growths that can appear anywhere on your body – are very common, especially among children. But how do you get warts and verrucas?

Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), a relatively harmless virus that enters your body through broken and dry skin. The virus infects the cells that form the outer layer of the skin and breaks out as a wart or verruca in two to six months.

There are two main ways of contracting warts:

Direct contact

  • Warts can spread from person to person through handshakes or other skin-to-skin contact. You may also spread warts from one part of your body to another by picking on an existing wart and then touching broken skin elsewhere on your body.

Indirect contact

  • Warts can be passed on by touching inanimate objects that have been in contact with an infected person, such as a towel, razor or damp floors in bathrooms or public areas where you normally walk barefoot.



Family feet under bed cover

Who can get warts?

HPV is very contagious, but coming into contact with the virus does not always result in warts. This is a conceptual model of HPV exposure, which shows that the theoretical degree of HPV exposure decreases from the core outward.

Warts in children

Children often get warts, why does my child get warts and what is the best option for wart removal?

Removing warts

There are a number of different methods for removing your wart, what are the different options?

Children and immunocompromised individuals

Anybody can get warts and an estimated 10 percent of the population is infected. But if your immune system is compromised due to illness you are more likely to contract warts. Children also have a higher risk of warts, since their immune systems are not fully developed. As many as one third of all children between the ages of four and twelve are affected by warts¹.

School and Nurseries

The degree of HPV exposure in school contributes to the development of warts in school children. Consequently, countries where kindergarten is more common have a higher rate of warts in children.

Spreading within the family

According to a Dutch study1, children who have a family member with warts have an increased risk of becoming infected. 


Warts spread by releasing skin cells that are infected with the virus. Bathrooms and public areas where you usually walk barefoot, such as changing rooms and swimming pools, will therefore increase the risk of infection. 

By following these guidelines you can minimise your risk of contracting the HPV virus:

  • Do not touch warts. Wash your hands regularly, but not excessively. If you have come into contact with the virus you can wash it off before it reaches broken skin.
  • Dry your hands properly and use a moisturiser. Drying your hands and applying a moisturiser will prevent them from becoming dry and susceptible to the HPV virus.
  • Do not share footwear. HPV can be found in the shoes and socks of carriers.
  • Do not share personal hygiene items. Towels, razors, deodorants, cosmetics and many other personal items can also transmit the HPV virus.
  • Avoid biting your nails. Nail biting can cause breaks in skin where the virus can get through.
  • Keep in good health. A strong immune system is the best defense against warts and verrucas.
  • Avoid walking barefoot in public areas. If you are a regular visitor to the gym or public swimming pools, wearing flip flops or other rubber-soled shoes could prevent you from getting a verruca.

Wart treatment

If you have already contracted warts the best way to avoid spreading them is to treat them with an effective wart removal solution such as EndWarts PEN. Warts can be challenging to get rid of, but if you start treatment as soon as you notice the first wart symptoms you have a higher chance of success.

1 Warts in primary schoolchildren: prevalence and relation with environmental factors. British Journal of Dermatology. F.M. van Haalen, S.C. Bruggink, J. Gussekloo, W.J.J. Assendelft and J.A.H. Eekhof. 2009.

Endwarts PEN

EndWarts PEN

Precise application

Contains the same powerful and effective acid as the original EndWarts. This product is developed and designed with the consumer`s needs and desires in mind. A safe device for convenient handling.