Can You Pop a Wart Like a Pimple? Dos and Don’ts for Safe Wart Care

Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S.
By Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S.
Updated on November 15, 2023

Warts and pimples are both skin growths, but they are caused by different viruses or bacteria and should be treated differently. While popping pimples is generally considered safe, the same cannot be said for attempting to pop a wart in the same manner.

Can you pop a wart like a pimple?

No, it is not recommended to try popping a wart like a pimple. Warts are caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that infect the top layer of skin. Simply popping or squeezing the wart will not remove the virus and can actually cause it to spread. This is because wart viruses reside deeper than just the visible wart tissue and trying to forcibly remove it may break off bits containing HPV.

Risks of popping a wart

Some risks of attempting to pop a wart include: – Spreading HPV to other parts of the body or to other people you come into contact with. – Causing pain, bleeding and potential infection of the wart site from skin damage. – Missing viral fragments can regrow into new warts later on. – Scarring if too deep or forceful removal is tried. – Accelerating the growth or spread of an existing wart due to irritation.

Alternatives to popping

Instead of popping warts, the safest options are using over-the-counter wart removal treatments daily as directed. These gradually remove the dead, infected skin to eliminate the virus over time. Seeking cryotherapy or prescription solutions from a dermatologist can also safely treat warts. Warts may require weeks of treatment to fully remove without risking spread.


While popping pimples is usually fine, popping warts is ill-advised due to the risk of spreading HPV. Gentle, long-term treatments addressing the virus are safest for wart removal versus potentially damaging attempts to forcibly pop them from the skin.

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