Conditions + Treatments

Warts Symptoms & Causes

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What are warts?

Warts are non-cancerous skin growths caused by the papillomavirus. Warts are more common in children than adults, although they can develop at any age. Warts can also spread to other parts of the body and to other people.

There are many different types of warts, due to the fact that there are more than 100 different papillomavirus types. Warts are not painful, except when located on the feet. Most warts go away, without treatment, over an extended period of time.

Common types of warts

The most common types of warts are:

Common warts

  • growths around nails and the back of hands
  • usually have a rough surface
  • grayish-yellow or brown in color

Foot warts

  • located on the soles of the feet
  • also known as plantar warts; visible black dots in the warts are clotted blood vessels that once fed them
  • clusters of plantar warts are called mosaic; may be painful

Flat warts

  • small, smooth growths that grow in groups up to 100 at a time
  • most often appear on children's faces

Genital warts

  • grow on the genitals
  • occasionally sexually transmitted
  • soft and do not have a rough surface like other common warts

Filiform warts

  • small, long, narrow growths that usually appear on the eyelids, face or neck
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