Nobody wants to feel discomfort that can come with damage to your skin. Whether it’s a laceration, burn, or rash, it can irritate you, sometimes constantly. There are times when it’s not just irritation, it’s actual pain. Pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Nerves surrounding the injury site send out signals that make you feel extreme discomfort, sort of like your brain tapping your shoulder saying, “Something is wrong, fix me!” When it comes to warts, they don’t belong in your skin. They’re an invader and disrupt your skin’s naturally smooth surface. But do they hurt?
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Can Warts Ever Be Painful?
The short answer is, yes, there are times when they’ll hurt.
All warts on the human body are caused by Human Papilloma Virus, otherwise known as HPV. This DNA based virus loves to hang out in areas that are moist and warm, like a sauna, shower, or pool deck. And the more people that use the space, the greater the likelihood there will be HPV present. It gets in through small breaks in the skin and can cause a wart after only days, or perhaps not for years. But even if no wart appears, it doesn’t mean the virus isn’t there.
When a wart grows, it takes up room in the skin’s upper layers, called epithelial cells. If it is deeper into the layers, there’s a higher chance of discomfort. If you’ve got an irregularly placed nerve that happens to be near a wart, it can cause pain as well. Mass from the wart may push downward somewhat, exerting pressure on the nerve which then sends a pain signal to your brain.
A callus can grow on your body in high friction areas and be a firm bump just like a wart. But is what you have a callus or a wart? Click here to find out.
When You Have Warts That Hurt
Normally, a wart will creep up and you’ll notice it without the symptom of pain. In fact, the usual wart will largely be free of sensation, apart from general irritation at times. If it happens to be one that induces pain, it might start even before the wart reaches its maximum size.
Warts that are painful can occur for a number of reasons.
Some of those include:
- Location: Warts that are located on areas receiving high pressure will hurt more. These areas include the hands, feet, fingers, and toes.
- Nerves: Sometimes, a wart can be near a nerve in the skin. This may put pressure on the nerve and cause it to communicate pain signals.
- Infection: Warts, like any other part of the body, can be infected with bacteria. If one is scraped or cut for any reason, there’s always a chance that microscopic bacteria can get in. An infection can cause pain, redness, swelling, and sometimes bleeding or discharge.
HPV comes in several subtypes that all cause varying kinds of warts on different areas of the body. One of these subtypes is genital warts.
Genital warts only grow on the genital region, and are spread primarily through sexual contact. The only other place you’ll find them is in the mouth when transmitted through oral sex. They usually grow in clusters and have a cauliflower-type surface to them. If you have genital warts, they’ll come in outbreaks. You will want to get these treated, as this type of HPV can cause cancer. 70% of all cervical cancers are due to HPV, and other areas of the genitals have a drastically increased rate of cancer associated with them as well.
Genital warts can be uncomfortable on a normal basis due to the extra-sensitive skin, and clothing rubbing on them as well. Sex can also irritate them even more, since there will be a lot of pressure and movement on the area during it.
If you’ve got a wart that gets cut out or is especially large, it might leave a scar behind. More details on a wart scar can be found here.
Genital warts are extremely contagious even if no warts are present. Having sex during an outbreak of HPV increases your chance of getting the virus, or spreading it to your partner, even more. It is very unwise to have sex during an outbreak of HPV.
Remember, always discuss your genital warts with a sexual partner.
The skin on your genitals is highly sensitive due to the huge amount of nerve endings there. This can make warts more irritated, itchy, and sometimes painful.
Plantar warts are located on the bottom of your foot. As you walk, the pressure of each step forces the wart back into the foot, making the wart spread out and become flush with the skin. You might see black dots in the center, known as “wart seeds, ” which are really just coagulated blood vessels. Pain is achieved from the wart being shoved deeper into the skin and closer to nerve endings.
With a plantar wart you may experience some of the following:
- Pain while walking.
- Calloused skin growing over the wart.
- Discomfort wearing shoes.
Sometimes, just wearing socks or shoes can be too uncomfortable when you’ve got a plantar wart. Tiny bits of pressure can exert enough force on the wart area just enough to inflict pain for some people. Others may need more pressure to cause pain.
When you kill your wart or it decides to die on its own, it may fall off. If you’ve got a wart falling off, click here for more information.
The Best Products For Painful Warts
When a procedure isn’t possible or you are waiting for your at-home treatment to work, the pain from your wart may persist.
Consider using one of these products to help out with the painful wart:
Pedi Fix Gel Callous Pads: This gel pad sticks to the skin around a plantar wart, leaving the wart untouched and unable to make contact with shoes or the floor while walking, alleviating any pain you’d normally get with pressure.Warning
Don’t ever try to cut a wart out yourself! Using scissors, a knife, or nail clippers to slice the wart out of your skin can do several bad things to you. Not only can it damage the healthy skin surrounding the wart, it can damage nerves and cause an infection to develop that will make things even worse. Always have a healthcare professional be the one to remove a wart for you.
- Lidocaine Plus 4% cream: Lidocaine is an anesthetic that numbs tissue. When applied topically, like this cream, it will numb the skin or wart area.
- Compound W Wart Remover One Step Pads For Feet: Another form of padding for a wart, these oval pads are infused with salicylic acid that will help to kill off the wart as you wear it.
Most painful warts can be treated, even genital warts, which require a different method than the other types.
Some options you’ll find:
- Surgical excision: Using a cutting tool of varying types, a healthcare professional will cut the painful wart directly out of your skin. The most significant benefit to this is the immediate removal of the wart. (read more)
- Cryotherapy: Liquid nitrogen is used during this proceudre, which has an extremely low boiling point of -360 degrees. It will make contact with the wart and freeze the tissue before boiling immediately. So much damage is inflicted that the wart will die. (read more)
- Laser therapy: A high-focused laser is used for this treatment, pointed directly at the wart and killing it with heat. There may be a burning smell and possibly even a tiny amount of smoke. This is perfectly normal. (read more)
Most of the time, warts are noncancerous, benign, and painless. But yes, there are times when they might be painful. Lucky for you, there’s a way to defeat that. Go see a healthcare professional for advice on how you can get rid of your painful warts for good.
You can find further details of Warts here.