A wart, also known as a verruca, is a common skin growth caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts can appear on various parts of the body, including the hands, feet, face, and genitals. They typically have a rough texture and can vary in size, shape, and color.

Warts are contagious and can spread through direct contact with an infected person or by touching surfaces or objects contaminated with the virus. They can also spread from one part of the body to another through self-inoculation, such as scratching or picking at a wart and then touching another area of the skin.


Common warts (verruca vulgaris)

These warts usually appear on the fingers, hands, and around the nails. They are typically raised, firm, and have a rough surface. Common warts often have a cauliflower-like appearance with small black dots, which are clotted blood vessels.

Genital warts

These warts appear on the genital and anal areas and are transmitted through sexual contact. Genital warts can vary in size, shape, and appearance and may be raised, flat, or cauliflower-like. They can be flesh-colored or have a pinkish hue.

Flat warts (verruca plana)

Flat warts are smoother and flatter than other types of warts, often appearing in clusters on the face, arms, or legs. They can be flesh-colored, yellowish, or pink. Flat warts are more common in children and adolescents.

Plantar warts

Plantar warts appear on the soles of the feet and can be painful, especially when walking or standing. Due to the pressure exerted on the feet, plantar warts often grow inward, causing a thick, callus-like layer to form over them. They may have small black dots like common warts.

Warts are usually harmless, but they can be bothersome or cosmetically undesirable. Some warts may resolve on their own over time, while others may persist or multiply.


Treatment options for warts include:

Non-prescription wart treatments usually contain salicylic acid, which helps remove the wart gradually. These treatments are available as liquids, gels, or adhesive pads and require regular application.

In this procedure, a healthcare professional freezes the wart using liquid nitrogen. The freezing causes the wart to blister and eventually fall off.

This procedure involves using an electric current to destroy the wart tissue. It is typically performed under local anesthesia.

Laser treatment can be used to remove warts by destroying the blood vessels that supply them. It is often reserved for more resistant or recurrent warts.

For stubborn or recurrent warts, immunotherapy may be used to stimulate the immune system’s response against the virus. This can involve injecting medications or applying creams to boost the immune system’s ability to fight the wart.

It is important to consult a healthcare professional, such as a dermatologist, for a proper diagnosis and guidance on the most appropriate treatment option for your specific case of warts.

Additionally, practicing good hygiene and avoiding direct contact with warts can help prevent their spread.