December 6, 2023

Can You Get Warts From Frogs?

There’s no such thing as “frog warts,” and touching a frog won’t cause you to get them. This myth probably originated because frogs and toads have bumps on their skin that look somewhat similar to warts. But those are not warts — they’re glands that secrete toxins to help them protect themselves from predators. Touching a frog or toad may irritate their skin, but it won’t give you anything more than a small rash.

Warts (technically called verruca vulgaris) are essentially harmless and usually just appear on the hands, fingers, face and feet. They are caused by viruses from the human papillomavirus family and aren’t contagious. They can be single or clustered and are skin-colored and feel rough to the touch. They can grow anywhere on the body, but are most common in children because they’re more prone to cuts and scratches and their immune systems haven’t yet fully developed.

Despite their rough appearance, warts don’t actually hurt and they don’t grow any faster than normal. However, they can be difficult to remove, especially when they’re present on the soles of the feet and are called plantar warts. Podiatrists have many treatment options, including creams and solutions and a procedure called cryotherapy, in which the warts are frozen off with liquid nitrogen.

It’s important to handle frogs properly, particularly when you’re caring for them as pets. Their thin skin can easily be injured, and if they jump from your hand they can fall and injure themselves. Frogs also need to stay moist, and drying their skin can harm it. Always wear gloves when handling frogs and wash your hands afterward. If you need to take them out of their tank, a terrarium or a pond, be sure to use clean, unpowdered gloves and wet the gloves first.

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