Warts are caused by viral infections, though they sometimes are accompanied by pus, which is caused by bacteria. Treating a wart with pus usually involves the use of topical or oral antibiotics, and occasionally, the health care provider will recommend a combination of both. Warts are usually left alone, though they can be removed with a laser or with a chemical wart remover. Warts containing pus are highly contagious, and the infection can easily spread to other people and to different parts of the body.
Hot compresses should be applied to a wart with pus to facilitate healing and to promote the drainage of pus. A wart with pus should never be lanced at home in an attempt to drain the pus, because this could worsen the infection and cause it to spread. A hot compress can be applied several times a day, however, a clean compress should be used each time to avoid reintroducing bacteria to the area. Symptoms of a wart with pus can also include inflammation at the site, redness, pain, and an increase in temperature over the area. Fever, chills, and body aches can also occur if the infection becomes systemic.
The color of pus can vary and can range from a light straw color to dark brown, or even black. Red or pink pus is caused by the combination of blood and pus, however, this does not indicate a more serious infection than pus without blood. Also, pus can be watery in consistency, or thick and sticky. Again, the consistency or amount of pus is not a reflection of the seriousness or type of infection.
Warts are generally harmless and occasionally go away on their own. Even after removal, they can sometimes grow back, but this is not common. Common locations for warts to appear are the hands, feet, and sometimes the face. Genital warts are common around the perianal area and are sexually transmitted, while warts on other parts of the body generally are not.
If a wart with pus begins to drain on its own, the area should be gently washed with mild soap and warm water. An over-the-counter antibiotic ointment can then be applied, and the area covered with a sterile bandage. If the wart continues to drain pus, it should be kept covered to avoid spreading the infection, and the health care provider should be notified.