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A wart (also known as a verruca when a plantar wart occurs on the sole of the feet or on toes) is generally a small, rough tumor, typically on hands and feet but often other locations, that can resemble a cauliflower or a solid blister. These warts are common, and are caused by a viral infection, specifically by human papillomavirus 2 and 7. There are as many as 10 varieties of warts with the most common being considered largely harmless. It is possible to get warts from others, they are contagious. They typically disappear after a few months but can last for years and can recur.[1]



A range of types of wart have been identified, varying in shape and site affected, as well as the type of human papillomavirus involved.[2][3] These include:

  • Common wart (Verruca vulgaris), a raised wart with roughened surface, most common on hands, but can grow anywhere on the body;
  • Flat wart (Verruca plana), a small, smooth flattened wart, flesh-coloured, which can occur in large numbers; most common on the face, neck, hands, wrists and knees;
  • Filiform or digitate wart, a thread- or finger-like wart, most common on the face, especially near the eyelids and lips;
  • Genital wart (venereal wart, Condyloma acuminatum, Verruca acuminata), a wart that occurs on the genitalia.
  • Mosaic wart, a group of tightly clustered plantar-type warts, commonly on the hands or soles of the feet;
  • Periungual wart, a cauliflower-like cluster of warts that occurs around the nails.
  • Plantar wart (verruca, Verruca pedis), a hard sometimes painful lump, often with multiple black specks in the center; usually only found on pressure points on the soles of the feet;


Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). There are about 130 known types of human papilloma viruses.[4] HPV infects the squamous epithelium, usually of the skin or genitals, but each HPV type is typically only able to infect only a few specific areas on the body. Many HPV types can produce a benign growth, often called a "wart" or "papilloma", in the area they infect. Many of the more common HPV and wart types are as follows:

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