What are water warts?

What are water warts?

Water warts are pink, white or pearl-coloured bumps which tend to have a dot in the middle. Water warts are usually spread out across the skin and they are usually small and vary in size between 1 and 8 mm. They can occur anywhere and often group together in clusters.


The most common places water warts occur are on the torso, upper arms, thighs, under the armpits, the elbows and bottom. Water warts occur as a result of becoming infected with the Molluscum Contagiosum virus (MCV). This is a type of pox virus. This virus frequently occurs in young children aged between 1 and 4. One of the reasons that children are susceptible to this infection is due to their immune system not being strong enough to combat the virus. Children often develop water warts on their torso, arms and legs but also on hands and feet. 

Adults can also develop water warts, although, this is rare. When adults are infected they are usually elderly or have a low or weak immune system. Adults often develop water warts on or near their genitals and anus, in the groin area, on the thighs and on the abdomen area. Not everyone will develop water warts despite the fact that everyone is exposed to them at one time or another. The presence of antibodies and natural resistance means that water warts will not necessarily develop despite someone becoming infected.

Are water warts contagious?

Water warts are harmless but highly contagious. Water warts are spread through skin-to-skin contact during, for example sports, via objects like toys or the use of shared towels. The virus also spreads when the water wart bursts or is scratched. The content of the water warts contains the virus. Children with eczema are often more likely to develop water warts as they scratch itchy spots which leaves their skin vulnerable to infection.

Treating water warts

Water warts develop within 14 days to 6 months following the skin coming into contact with the virus. Water warts are small pink, white or pearl-coloured bumps. They grow over the course of a few weeks and can become 5 to 10 mm large. However, they usually stay small. Water warts can become infected when damaged. This results in the water warts turning red. They can also produce puss when infected. Water warts will develop scabs. An infection is a sign that the virus is being fought off and that the water warts are healing. This healing process can take anywhere between a few months and 2 years. You will become immune to the virus once the water warts have healed. This prevents further infections. Water warts can be treated with cryotherapy. You can easily treat water warts using HeltiQ WartFreezer. This product treats them via a freezing method.