What are subway warts?
A 2004 blog post named the large bumps on the yellow strips in the subway (that warn people not to come too close to the edge of the platform) as “subway warts.”
In September 2008 on the Free Williamsburg website, Dr. Jay was asked about “subway warts”—bumps found on a hand after touching a rail on a subway train. Dr. Jay answered that it was unlikely that a fungal infection was caused by a subway pole.
Both definitions of “subway warts” have been sparsely used.
The edges of subway platforms in New York are painted yellow, and they have these large bumps, subway warts to warn people to stay away from the edge. I like walking on these bumps. They feel good against my feet. It’s a little foot massage on my way to work.
September 03, 2008
Ask Dr. Jay: Subway Warts
Dear Dr. Jay,
I had these dryish, warty bumps on the inside of my fingers where I would hold a rail on the subway. Is it at all possible for me to get some sort of gross fungus thing on my fingers just by standing on the subway? Personally, I always try to sit or lean and don’t even like touching the exit handle on the bathroom, but honestly I think that was the case.
So I’m going to do my best to put this issue to rest. It’s very unlikely that you’d get a fungal infection from casual contact with a subway pole or bathroom doorknob. However, the first thing we learn in medical school is never say never—damn near anything, and I mean anything, can happen and DOES happen. Fungi really like warm, moist environments like showers and locker rooms. The last time I put my hand on a subway pole, it wasn’t warm nor moist. But it did feel like someone just slimed it with a slice of bologna.
So it’s very unlikely you’d get a fungal infection from a subway pole or a bathroom doorknob. When was the last time I touched one of those things? Years and years and years ago. Catching something is nearly impossible, but I’m not taking any chances.
So wash your hands frequently and don’t slime subway poles with bologna and we’ll all be just fine.
September 6, 2008
The Facts About Subway Warts
Yesterday we explored commuters who place their bare feet on the subway seats, but just what is the consequence of placing bare skin on anything underground? Well, Dr. Jay Parkinson just happened to discuss the dreaded “subway warts” over at Free Williamsburg recently. He says that “fungi really like warm, moist environments like showers and locker rooms. The last time I put my hand on a subway pole, it wasn’t warm nor moist. But it did feel like someone just slimed it with a slice of bologna.” Well, slime just can’t be good, but in the end he notes that “it’s very unlikely that you’d get a fungal infection from casual contact with a subway pole.” Frequent hand washing is recommended, however, because that slime could at the very least land you with a nasty cold.
By Jen Carlson in News
 | 09/06/08
And maybe if you actually read the column, you’ll see that he never called them warts. Somebody complained about “warty bumps” and asked about the possibility of fungal infections. Dr. Jay never once mentioned “warts” himself. Honestly, is it that hard for Gothamist readers to click on links these days before jumping to conclusions, or do you desperately need to show you’re so superior that you don’t have the time for that?
Two words I never want to think about together again: subway warts
September 6, 2008 by Karen
This is just nasty. Why are people barefoot on subways? Slime on subway poles?
New York City • Transportation • (0) Comments • Monday, September 08, 2008 • Permalink