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Warts vs. Acne Causes, Diagnosis, & Treatmemt - Health Articles

Health Articles > Warts > Warts vs. Acne

While both warts and acne are common skin conditions, they each have very distinguishing signs and symptoms.


Warts are usually small and round growths. Some are rough and some are smooth. Although they start off very small, they can grow quite large. Many will end up in a cluster and resemble a small cauliflower.

Acne has different types of pimples such as whiteheads, blackheads, nodules, cysts, pustules and papules. While the whiteheads and blackheads (as their names suggest) have white heads or black heads to them, the others are red small or large bumps.


The most common place for warts is on the hands and fingers followed by planter warts which occur on the soles of the feet. They can grow on other parts of the body too. A different type of wart is a genital wart which is a sexually transmitted disease.

Although acne can break out anywhere on the skin where there are hair follicles, the usual location is the face followed by the neck, shoulders and back.

Age groups

Common, flat and plantar warts are more common in children and young adults (a) because their immune systems are less mature and (b) they tend to have more physical contact with one another. Genital warts are most likely in young adults. Warts are contagious.

Acne is most likely in the teens although there are some cases of adult acne in the twenties and early thirties. Acne is not contagious.


Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus. There are well over a 100 different strains of this HPV virus with various strains leading to different types of warts. Viral particles will take advantage of any small break in the skin to get a hold in a new host, and warts can then develop. Depending on the strength of the immune system, some people will get warts, others will find the HPV lies dormant in their skin while still others may be able to rid the virus from their bodies.

Pores in the skin can get clogged up with too much oil together with dead skin cells. This is what causes acne. These blocked pores then become inflamed and a pimple of some sort is the result.


Warts can be treated effectively but may still sometimes recur. Occasionally if left alone, warts may go away by themselves but you run the risk of them growing bigger and multiplying.

Acne can also be treated effectively in many cases and it is wise to treat because serious acne, such as cystic acne, if left alone may result in permanent and quite deep scarring.


Both warts (particularly genital warts) and acne can lead to stress and depression in those with these conditions. Acne sufferers are often at a vulnerable age where teen pressure and looks are all important. Those with bad cases of acne could withdraw from socialising. Some will be permanently scarred. Many who find they have contracted genital warts feel similarly upset when they discover they have a sexually transmitted disease which could well be with them for life. Both sets of people may need professional help and therapy to assist them through this difficult time.