Are Warts Genetic?

Author: Richard Horgan


Warts are not genetic.

Many warts, such as genital warts, are usually transmitted by means of human contact and are therefore not genetic. Genital warts are also dormant in most people, resolving without evidence of an outbreak from eight months to two years after infection. At the same time, even if there is no demonstrable outbreak, they can lead in women to the onset of cervical cancer. Among the treatment methods used to eradicate genital warts are podophyllin and liquid nitrogen.

As far as the other major kinds of warts - common, plantar, and flat - they are also not passed down through heredity. In rare cases, it can be passed from mother to child during childbirth. Warts are a result of the human papillomavirus, or HPV for short. The virus leads to the appearance in the top skin layers of the hard protein keratin, which eventually turns into the different kinds of warts, except for the genital variety.

In addition to human contact, HPV can be gained in a number of other ways: contact with wet towels or shoes; sucking fingers; biting fingernails; shaving; and scratching a pre-existing wart.

Getting Rid of Warts

Remarkably, one form of treatment that has been successfully used to eradicate warts is common household duct tape. A piece of tape is placed on the wart and sealed onto the skin, then sharply ripped away to take with it the wart(s) on the surface area of the skin that has been taped up. Other methods of getting rid of warts include salicylic acid, laser treatment, cryotherapy, surgery, and cantharidin. The last substance is extracted from the blister beetle and leads, when applied on human skin, to the development of a blister than can help doctors excise the applied area's warts. 

So essentially, warts are not hereditary but rather the offshoot of a highly contagious and commonly circulating virus.


Works Cited

Medical News Today
"What Causes Warts"

UC Davis – Student Health Services

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"Are Warts Genetic?." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <>.  

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