Understanding Common Warts -- Symptoms

Medically Reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD on May 16, 2023
2 min read

Here are some ways to recognize common warts:

  • Common warts are small, hard, rough lumps that are round and elevated. They usually appear on hands and fingers and may be flesh-colored, white, or pink.
  • Filiform warts are thin and thread-like. They commonly appear on the face and neck.
  • Flat warts appear in groups of up to several hundred, usually on the face, neck, chest, knees, hands, wrists, or forearms. They are slightly raised and have smooth, flat, or rounded tops.
  • Plantar warts are firm lumps on the soles of the feet. Unlike a corn or callus, they have tiny black dots, which are small, clotted blood vessels.
  • Periungual warts are rough, irregular, and elevated. They appear at the edges of fingernails and toenails and may extend under the nails, causing pain and irregular nail growth.
  • Over-the-counter remedies don't work
  • You are a woman and develop genital warts, which in rare cases can be associated with cervical cancer
  • If you are a male, certain subtypes of HPV, Human Papillomavirus, such as Type 16 and 18 may cancer in men as well. 
  • You are older than age 60 and discover what looks like a wart. It may instead be a symptom of a more serious skin condition, such as skin cancer
  • Warts multiply and spread, causing embarrassment or discomfort
  • You notice a change in a wart's color or size; this could indicate that the lesion is not a wart but a skin cancer.