Warts

Also known as: verruca.

What are warts?

Warts are round noncancerous, rough or smooth skin growths that can appear on almost any part of the body. They are usually the same color as skin, but can be brown, or grayish in appearance. 

What causes warts?

Warts are caused by a virus known as the human papillomavirus (HPV), which invades the skin usually through a small scratch or cut. Biting or picking at nails can increase the risk.  They are spread by child to child contact, sharing towels or toys or by coming into contact with something that has touched a wart. Some children get warts more often than others. It takes quite a long time for a wart to appear.

What are the symptoms of warts?

Warts are frequently located on the fingers and hands.  Palmar warts are found on the palms of the hands and plantar warts are those found under the feet, both are common. In some cases, they can be painful, and interfere with sport activities if present on the hands or feet.

What are wart care options?

Warts will often disappear by themselves. There are many treatments options as well, none being perfect or a cure-all. Warts can be managed with chemical skin treatments, laser, freezing or surgery.


Reviewed by: Ana Margarita Duarte, MD

This page was last updated on: August 19, 2021 03:49 PM

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