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Warts Symptoms and Causes

Warts are non-cancerous skin growths caused by the papillomavirus, with appearances more common in children than in adults. Because warts are viral they can spread to any other area on the body. They are also contagious due to their viral nature and can be passed on to others. Because a virus can easily mutate, there are more than 100 various types of warts.

The following are the more common types of warts:

  • Common warts — These warts are growths around nails and the back of hands. They usually have a rough surface and are grayish-yellow or brown in color.
  • Foot warts — Foot warts are located on the soles of feet (plantar warts) noted by black dots (clotted blood vessels that once fed them). These warts may form clusters of plantar warts that are called mosaic. These warts may be painful or tender.
  • Flat warts — Flat warts are small, smooth growths that grow in groups up to 100 at a time; most often appearing on children's faces.
  • Genital warts — These grow on the genitals and are occasionally sexually transmitted. Genital warts are soft and do not have a rough surface like other common warts. They may grow in small or large clusters, often in large clusters for women during pregnancy.
  • Filiform warts — These warts are small, long, narrow growths that usually appear on eyelids, face, or neck.

Wart Causes

Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). They are passed on by close skin-to-skin contact, as well as through contact with towels or shoes.