This topic has information about warts on any part of the body except the genitals. For information about warts on the genitals, see the topic Genital Warts.
A wart is a skin growth caused by some types of the virus called the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are more than 100 known types of HPV. HPV infects the top layer of skin, usually entering the body in an area of broken skin. The virus causes the top layer of skin to grow rapidly, forming a wart. Most warts go away on their own within months or years.
Warts can grow anywhere on the body. They are most common among children and young adults.
There are five kinds of warts. They look different and form on different parts of the body.
Common warts camera grow most often on the hands, but they may be anywhere on the body. They are rough, shaped like a dome, and gray-brown in color.
Plantar warts camera grow on the soles of the feet. They look like hard, thick patches of skin with dark specks. Plantar warts may cause pain when you walk, and you may feel like you are stepping on a pebble.
Flat warts camera usually grow on the face, arms, or legs. They are small (usually smaller than the eraser on the end of a pencil), have flat tops, and can be pink, light brown, or light yellow.
Filiform warts camera usually grow around the mouth, nose, or beard area. They are the same color as your skin and have growths that look like threads sticking out of them.
Periungual warts camera grow under and around the toenails and fingernails. They look like rough bumps with an uneven surface and border. They can affect nail growth.
Warts are easily spread by direct contact with a human papillomavirus. You can infect yourself again by touching the wart and then another part of your body. You can infect another person by sharing towels, razors, or other personal items. After contact with HPV, it can take many months of slow growth beneath the skin before you notice a wart.
It is unlikely that you will get a wart every time you come in contact with HPV. Some people are more likely to get warts than others.
Warts come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. A wart may be a bump with a rough surface, or it may be flat and smooth. Tiny blood vessels grow into the core of the wart to supply it with blood. In both common and plantar warts, these blood vessels may look like dark dots in the wart’s center. In most cases, the skin lines and creases over the wart look distorted.