Warts occur in
a variety of shapes and sizes. A wart may appear as a bump with a rough
surface, or it may be flat and smooth. Tiny blood vessels (capillaries) grow
into the core of the wart to supply it with blood. In both common and plantar
warts, these capillaries may appear as dark dots (seeds) in the wart's
Following are descriptions of the main types of
Common warts usually appear singly or
in groups on the hands, although they may grow on any part of the body. They
usually are rough, gray-brown, dome-shaped growths.
Plantar warts can develop on any part of the foot. Sometimes dark specks are
visible beneath the surface of the wart. When pressure from standing or walking
pushes a plantar wart beneath the skin's surface, a layer of thick, tough skin
similar to a
callus develops over it. As the callus and wart get
larger, walking can become painful, much like walking with a pebble in your
shoe. Multiple plantar warts can form in a large, flat cluster known as a
Flat warts are usually found on the face, arms, or
legs. They are small (usually smaller than the eraser on the end of a pencil),
and there are usually several in one area. They have flat tops and can be pink,
light brown, or light yellow. Flat warts are often spread by
Filiform warts, a kind of flat wart, can grow around
the mouth, nose, and beard area. The surface of this type of wart has many
flesh-colored, finger-shaped projections.
Periungual warts are
found under and around the toenails and fingernails. They appear as rough,
irregular bumps. They can affect nail growth.
Common and flat warts usually do not cause pain. But they
can be bothersome and can spread easily if they are in areas that are
constantly irritated by rubbing or shaving. Visible warts can be embarrassing
for some people. Plantar warts often cause pain, especially if they are located
over bony areas of the foot.
Other skin conditions may look like
warts. These include:
Seborrheic keratoses, which are
noncancerous growths of the skin. They vary in color from light tan to black
and in size from very small to the size of a coin. The growths may look waxy,
pasted on, or stuck on.
(acrochordon), which are small, soft pieces of skin that stick out on a thin
stem. They most often appear on the neck, armpits, upper trunk, and body folds.
They commonly appear after middle age.
are areas of thick, hardened, dead skin.
Skin cancer. Skin cancer may appear as a growth or mole, a change in a growth
or mole, a sore that does not heal, or irritation of the skin.
Warts cover the lines and creases in the skin-this is one
way to tell a wart from other skin conditions.