Warts are benign (not cancerous) skin growths that appear when a virus infects the top layer of the skin. Viruses that cause warts are called human papillomavirus (HPV). You are more likely to get one of these viruses if you cut or damage your skin in some way.
Wart viruses are contagious. Warts can spread by contact with the wart or something that touched the wart.
Warts are often skin-colored and feel rough, but they can be dark (brown or gray‒black), flat, and smooth.
If you see a wart on your child's face, check your child's hands for warts. The virus that causes warts can spread from the hands to the face through touch or nail‒biting.
Common warts have these traits:
Grow most often on the fingers, around the nails, and on the backs of the hands.
Are more common where the skin was broken, such as from biting fingernails or picking at hangnails.
It Can have black dots that look like seeds (often called "seed" warts).
Most often feel like rough bumps.
Plantar warts: These warts appear on the sole of the foot and can be hard to treat. Foot warts.
Common warts have these traits:
Grow most often on the soles (plantar surface) of the feet.
It can grow in clusters (mosaic warts).
Often are flat or grow inward (walking creates pressure, which causes warts to grow inward).
It can hurt, feels like you have pebbles in your shoe.
It can have black dots.
Flat warts have these traits:
It can occur anywhere. Children usually get them on the face. Men get these most often in the beard area, and women tend to get them on their legs.
They are smaller and smoother than other warts.
Tend to grow in large numbers — 20 to 100 at a time.
Filiform warts have these traits:
It looks like long threads or thin fingers that stick out.
Often grows on the face: around the mouth, eyes, and nose.
Often grow quickly.
Who gets warts?
Anyone can get warts. Some people are more prone to getting a wart virus (HPV) than others. These people are:
Children and teens.
People who bite their nails or pick at hangnails.
People with a weakened immune system (the body’s defense system).
What causes warts?
Viruses called human papillomavirus (HPV) cause warts. It is easier to catch a virus that causes warts when you have a cut or scrape on your skin. This explains why so many children get warts. Warts also are more common in parts of the body that people shave such as the beard area in men and the legs in women. You can spread warts from one place on your body to another.
Warts can spread from person to person. You can get warts from touching a wart on someone’s body. Some people get a wart after touching something that another person’s wart touched, such as a towel. It often takes a few months for warts to grow large enough to see.
A firm, red nodule.
A flat lesion with a scaly, crusted surface
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