They look gross and are embarrassing, but common warts are a harmless growth of cells caused by direct contact with the human papillomavirus (HPV). Passed from person to person, the virus also travels via objects, such as a towel, used by someone who has the virus.
Warts eventually disappear, but if you don’t want to wait – and you don’t have diabetes or an impaired immune system, go to the drugstore and pick up a solution or patch containing 17% salicylic acid. It usually requires daily treatment for several weeks, but it will peel off the infected skin. Soak the wart in warm water for 15 minutes before applying the acid for best results.