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Can Warts Spread From Your Hands to Your Genitals or Eyes?

Can warts on your hands spread to your private parts or someone else's? And what about putting on contact lenses? Can warts spread to your eyes?
Courtney*

Warts from your hands can spread to other parts of your (or someone else's) body, including the genitals, the eyelid, and the lining of the eyelid. Warts are especially likely to spread when there is a break in the skin. You can also get infected through sharing objects like towels or razors.

Warts spread easily, but hand washing can help protect you. Always wash your hands before putting in contact lenses, before and after touching your own or someone else's genitals, and after touching a wart (either on your own body or someone else's).

Getting treatment for warts helps prevent them from spreading. You can use over-the-counter (OTC) medications to get rid of some warts, like the ones on your hands. Or you can see your doctor for a simple, in-office procedure like freezing the wart.

Some OTC wart medicines can damage fragile skin. So don't use them on your face or genitals without asking a doctor first.

If warts are painful, spreading, or not getting better, see a doctor.

Have a question? Ask the experts.

Although we can't reply personally, you may see your question posted to this page in the future. If you're looking for medical advice, a diagnosis, or treatment, consult your doctor or other qualified medical professional. If this is an emergency, contact emergency services in your area.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: August 2010

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