What are water warts? 

Water warts are blisters that are filled with fluids and they are normally caused by a virus called molluscum contagiousum. This viral infection normally affects the skin by causing small, pinkish sores that can be painful or itchy. The most common areas of the body that can be affected are the face, genital area, legs, arms or neck, but that doesn’t mean any other part of the body cannot be affected.

Are they contagious?

Yes! Water warts are contagious and they can spread by direct contact including sexual intercourse, or indirect contact, through contaminated (infected) things like sharing towels, baths or clothes. It’s also possible for you to spread the infection to other areas of the body (by touching the infected part then touching the uninfected part). 

Signs and symptoms 

Most of the time, men and women often show symptoms of water warts within 2 – 8 weeks after being infected. Here are signs and symptoms to look out for: 

  • Fluid-filled blisters around the genitals, thighs, anus or torso area (the area around your abdomen and chest), including the neckline and pelvis. 
  • The blisters often appear in groups in one area
  • The blisters are small and can be itchy or irritable

How to prevent them

  • Always use a condom properly. Even though condoms may only protect you from getting water warts if your partner has them on their genitals, you’re not completely protected from the regions that the condom doesn’t cover.
  • Cover the area affected with warts at all times 
  • Avoid irritating your skin by scratching it or touching it because you might spread the infection to an unaffected part of your body, or infect someone else.


Water warts usually go away on their own within 6 to 18 months, but you can get reinfected again by someone who has them. Some of the treatment procedures include laser treatment, freezing them off or even cutting them off by a professional healthcare provider. These kind of treatment options are usually expensive and scarring, so it is best to listen to your doctor or healthcare advisor on how to treat them.

Nobody wants to have visible, contagious blisters on their bodies. So if you suspect that you might have water warts, it is best for you to go visit your nearest doctor or healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and take it from there. 

In the meantime, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).