Warts are unsightly no matter which part of the body they crop up on, but back warts can be particularly disturbing to find. Often the warts have grown considerably by the time they are noticed because you do not often see your own back and may have missed it during bathing. Even with this late notice, back warts are not harder to treat than most other bodily warts, thus leaving you a wealth of options to choose from. Being a hard to reach area, you may have to get inventive in treatment application if you cannot easily reach your back warts.
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Back warts: Identification
There are eight different types of warts, all typically preferring a specific part of the body or a particular type of skin. Warts that appear on the back are most frequently common warts. Chest warts are usually a different type of wart. Learn more about warts on chest types and treatment here. Common warts are easily distinguishable by the surface, or top of the wart resembling cauliflower. Beyond that, they are rough to the touch and raised from the skin. Color wise they are grey, brown, pink or skin colored. They may have black spots or specks visible on the wart which are areas where blood has clotted inside it.
Identifying back warts is a simple process when you look for the features listed above, but if you find it hard to get a close up look at your wart, enlist a friend for help. Make sure your friend does not touch your warts with their bare hands or skin as this could spread the virus very easily.
To help ensure you are identifying them properly, ask your friend to tell you:
- The number of warts.
- Whether or not they are clustered close together.
- Shape of wart.
- Appearance of wart surface; flat, round, cauliflower-like etc.
Getting a diagnosis
If you fail to identify your back warts yourself, it may be best to visit a doctor to get a confirmed diagnosis. Many people mistake warts for moles, skin tags or other skin conditions. A doctor will be able to tell you for sure whether you have a wart or something else. Additionally they will be able to provide medication to treat the wart in the same visit, saving you another trip and hassle to search for your own.
Getting a diagnosis is not as bad as it seems. Warts are not dangerous or a threat to your health and safety. They will not make you sick and with back warts especially, most people don’t even notice they are there until noticed by eye. Warts rarely cause any pain and don’t bleed unless they receive constant rubbing or friction from clothing or other items. Warts that are low on the stomach should get immediate attention as they are likely to be irritated by pants. For more concrete information about warts on stomach area see this article.
Why do I have warts on my back?
Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus, typically abbreviated as HPV. There are no other causes of warts besides HPV so the appearance of warts on your back is a sure sign of infection. There are well over a hundred strains of HPV and none specifically favor the back, but most often the common wart is the one that infects the back. These warts are found on the hands and fingers and could have spread to the back by contact from these locations.
Ways to contract warts include:
- Skin to skin contact with a wart.
- Skin contact with items that have touched warts such as bandaids and towels.
- Shaving wart covered skin and then shaving another area.
- Re-using razors, towels or washcloths of someone with warts.
Finding the exact source of your HPV infection will be quite difficult as HPV is extremely common with 75% of the population exposed. Not everyone develops warts and for the large majority of people their bodies kill the virus or drive it dormant. Warts also don’t develop until months after infection. Knowing the source does nothing to help the problem, so it is best to focus on treatment.
Can I spread them to another part of my body?
Your ability to spread warts to another part of your is definitely possible contrary to popular belief. This is much more rare than the initial infection and first appearance with warts but it is incorrect to say it is impossible. As long as the type of skin is compatible with the wart type it can spread. For example, genital warts need mucous membranes and skin mirroring what they can find in the genitals, therefore it could only possibly spread to the mouth or lips.
Due to the possibility of spreading, you should be careful with any items likely to be carrying the wart virus. As mentioned before, razors are a primary way to transfer warts as they make tiny cuts in the skin as well. Avoid using razors on wart covered skin and then using it an another area or part of the body. So yes, self transfer is possible but not not super likely.
How to treat my back warts?
Back warts can be easily treated by several different methods including creams, freezing and medicated bandages. Visiting your doctor for treatment will be the most expensive so it is a great idea to use wart removal products you can find easily in your local drugstore or online. Many drugstore treatments are exactly the same as your doctor would prescribe anyway. Home remedies are another option that is also inexpensive.
Here are a few commonly used remedies to kill warts:
To start out, salicylic acid is the optimal first choice. Easily available for just a few dollars at most pharmacies and drug stores, this is the standard wart treatment even the doctors use. The cream is typically applied twice a day but can take two weeks to show results. There are other treatments that are faster which cost slightly more. You can decide whether the speed of removal is more important than expense.
Top 3 products to use
Not all wart treatments are created equally, some are very clearly better than others. Here we have compiled the top three products to get rid of your warts as quickly as possible.
Warts on your back may be difficult to access or reach. It is always better to ask a friend or another person to help you apply treatment then risk getting it on skin that doesn’t require it. Some treatments, such as wart freezing kits, are particularly dangerous on normal skin without warts. If you are unable to be exact in placement, stick to Terrasil or salicylic acid based creams which will not cause problems if they miss the target.
- Compound W One Step Invisible Strips
Where to buy: Amazon.com and Walmart
Benefits: Perfect for small back warts and only requires a single step. Keeps you from having to apply medication daily.
- CVS One Step Wart Remover
Where to find: In person by visiting a CVS Pharmacy or visiting CVS.com online.
Benefits: Includes eight single-step treatments. Works on back warts as long as they are common warts just like those on hands and feet.
- Terrasil MAX Wart Removal Stick
Where to buy: Walgreens, Amazon.com
Benefits: All-natural and without any chemicals. Safe to use on all warts. Works quickly without the overdrying common with salicylic acid.
Warts on your back are annoying but there is no need to panic or worry. Usually these warts can be identified and treated with ease either at home or by your doctor. Back warts are painless and not a threat to your health, the only concern needs to be about the possibility of spread. Rest assured that despite their unsightly appearance, back warts are not a problem and will often go away on their own.