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What kids should know about where warts come from

Touch all of the frogs or toads you like. They won't give you warts. But warts do spread easily. You get them when your skin touches someone who has warts, or something a person with warts has touched. So that means you can get warts:

  • In your house or at school.

  • From other people.

  • In the gym locker room.

  • At the pool.

  • From almost anyone or anywhere!

Because warts are so easy to catch, it's a good idea to wear pool shoes or flip-flops instead of going barefoot at the pool or other places where people walk around without shoes. Don't worry about it too much, though. Sometimes there's nothing you can do to prevent warts. 

Warts are caused by a germ called a virus. There are lots of different types of viruses. One type causes colds, another causes warts. So really, you catch the virus. The virus:

  • Gets into your body. This can happen through a sore or opening in your skin – even a tiny cut! Try not to chew your nails because you can create a sore that lets the virus in.

  • Causes an infection. That infection causes the wart, which is a growth or bump in your skin.

If your brother or sister has warts, you might get them and you might not. Doctors don't really know why, but some people just get them more easily than others do. If you have warts, it doesn't mean anything is wrong with you. It's sort of like some kids getting more colds than others.

Molluscum is something that looks like warts, but isn't. It's also is caused by a virus, just a different type. You get these bumps the same way you get warts — from someone else.

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