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Can Toads Give You Warts?

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Warts are a common but unpleasant skin infection that many people can experience over their lives. They can be unsightly and may appear anywhere on the body. Despite the prevalence of warts, most people do not know how they are formed. The most widespread theory is that people develop them after coming into contact with a toad. But is it true that toads can give you warts?

Toads cannot give you warts since the virus that causes warts, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is not carried by toads or frogs. If you have warts you did not get them from an amphibian and should seek medical attention to tend to them.

Warts are spread through a virus, are usually harmless, and disappear on their own. However, if you are someone that suffers from warts, there are treatments you can do to speed up wart removal.

Warts! Can Touching a Frog, Toad or Their Pee Give You Warts?

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If you want to learn more about warts and why people think you can get them from a toad, read on. We’ll discuss what warts are, how they really spread, and where the myth of the warty toad probably came from. We also have a few wart treatment and prevention tips to share with you.

What are Warts?

Warts are a growth on the skin, usually on the hands or fingers caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and are transmitted through touch. While generally harmless, warts can feel rough and have a pattern of black dots on them which are often clotted blood vessels.

When a person is exposed to the virus that causes warts, it can take as long as six months for warts to form. They can disappear on their own, but there are also treatments to decrease the time it takes for them to fade away. 

Warts on the hands and fingers are called common warts, but warts can appear anywhere on the body. Since some strains of HPV transmitted sexually, warts on the genitals are also relatively common. Another common type of warts is plantar warts, which grow on the soles of the feet (CTNF).

Can Toads Give You Warts?

Warts are spread between humans by a virus only humans can contract. Therefore, toads cannot give you warts. However, if you touch a frog or toad, depending on the species, you may develop symptoms from their skin secretions or poison. 

Some toads and frogs are poisonous, frog urine can have bacteria in it, and a frog’s skin can carry diseases like salmonella. However, developing symptoms from touching a frog or toad, interacting with their urine or poison will not develop into warts. 

The bumps that are seen on the back of a toad are sometimes called warts but are not the same as those that humans can develop. The idea that a person can get warts from toads is an old myth. It probably comes from the similarity between the bumps on a toad’s back and the appearance of a wart on a human. People thought that if you picked up a toad, you would develop bumps like the ones on the toad. They didn’t know that these bumps are glands, not warts.

Many old health superstitions were formed before people knew about germs and contagions. Since viruses like HPV were unknown and people didn’t understand the link between disease and cleanliness, handwashing after handling animals was not the norm that it is today. It’s not surprising that people would look to nature and wildlife for the cause of their ailments.

Frogs cannot give you warts either.

Warts Are Transmitted Through Human Contact

HPV is a highly contagious virus and the most common warts are generally spread from one person to another by contact. This could be by shaking hands, walking barefoot in a location where someone else had warts, or sharing objects such as towels.

The virus will look for an easy way to enter your system, usually through a cut in the skin or a hangnail. Nail biters may also see warts form around nails and on fingertips. People have different levels of immune responses, so not everyone who is exposed to the HPV virus will develop warts.

When the virus is in a person’s system, it infects the top layer of skin and this is where the wart forms. It can form quickly or can take several months. It is possible to spread warts across your own body by touching the wart and another part of your body. If you notice a wart on your body, you should contact a qualified medical professional in your area to begin treatment to prevent spread.

Warts Are Treatable And Preventable

Warts may be common and go away on their own, but that does not mean that you want to have to deal with them. If you are prone to developing warts, here are some ways you can get rid of them and prevent them from coming back.

Wart Treatment Options

Most warts will eventually go away on their own, but if you want to speed the process up, you have several treatments available.

  • Consult a Pharmacist: Ask your local, qualified pharmacist for over-the-counter wart remover. If you go to the pharmacy, you will see different types of wart removers, including ones that will freeze the wart off, sticks that will minimize warts, and gels that can remove the wart. These are all effective methods of getting rid of warts, so get help from the pharmacist to know which one would be best for your needs.
  • Seeing a Doctor: You should consult a Doctor, especially if your warts are spreading, are becoming painful, do not disappear on their own, or they become bothersome and hinder your everyday life. A Doctor will be able to diagnose the wart. The most common way a doctor will treat your wart is by surgically removing it. Medicinal injections are another treatment.

Warts can be unsightly and unpleasant, but these treatment options will help get rid of them quicker than waiting for them to heal themselves.

Wart Prevention Options

Although warts are treatable, the best thing you can do is to prevent them from forming in the first place. There are some simple changes you can make that will stop warts from showing up.

  • Avoid Warts: This may be easier said than done, especially if a wart takes a long time to form, but if you see a wart on someone or yourself, just don’t touch it. The virus is strongest at the site of the wart and will therefore spread easiest by touch.
  • Do Not Pick at Warts: This can spread the infection since they are highly contagious. If other parts of your body come in contact with a wart, you will likely develop a new one.
  • Cover Them With Bandages: This is one way to prevent yourself from accidentally spreading them.
  • Do Not Share Grooming Utensils: Do not use the same nail file, clippers, or other grooming tools on your warts which could spread them on your body and on others.
  • Do Not Bite Your Fingernails. Biting your nails or nibbling the skin surrounding the nail can open and break the skin, leaving more room for viruses and bacteria to enter.
  • Do Not Walk Barefoot in Wet Areas: To avoid getting warts on your feet, always make sure to wear shoes or flip flops in public areas with wet floors, such as locker rooms, swimming pool decks, and public showers.
  • Seek Medical Attention: Talk to your Doctor or pharmacist to find out how to get rid of your warts

HPV is very contagious, but if you take these measures to prevent warts, you should see results (CTNF).

More Resources About Toad & Frog Myths

Toads are fascinating creatures that have gotten a bad rap for years when it comes to warts. Now that you know that people cannot get warts from toads, you can spread this information (like a wart ^^). Not only will people stop blaming toads, but they can also learn the real cause of warts and ways to treat and prevent them.

Why a Frog Peed on You

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Check out our other resources that debunk frog and toad myths:

Common Questions Related to Toad Warts

Can Toads Give You Warts? Toads cannot give you warts because the virus that causes warts, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), is not carried by toads. If you have warts you did not get them from a toad and should seek medical attention.

Can Frogs Give You Warts? Frogs cannot give you warts because the virus that causes warts, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), is not carried by frogs. If you have warts you did not get them from a frog and should seek medical attention.

What Are The Bumps on The Back of a Toad? The bumps on the back of a toad are generally referred to as warts, but are actually glands that help toads defend themselves, and are not the same as the warts humans can contact. Humans can contract warts from HPV, not from toads.

Can Toad Pee Give You Warts? Toads pee cannot give you warts because the virus that causes warts, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), is not carried by toads or their urine. If you have warts you did not get them from a toad and should seek medical attention.

Why Do Toads Pee on You? Toads may urinate on you if they are afraid or feel in danger. Frogs and toads generally urinate to defend themselves from predators.


Mayo Clinic: Common Warts – Symptoms And Causes

NCBI: Warts Overview

Daniella Master Herpetologist

Daniella is a Master Herpetologist and the founder of toadsnfrogs.com, a website dedicated to educating the general population on frogs by meeting them where they are in their online Google Search. Daniella is passionate about frogs and put her digital marketing skills and teaching experience to good use by creating these helpful resources to encourage better education, understanding, and care for frogs.