Skin Information Network

What are Warts: The Basics

Warts are common growths that resemble a skin-colored blister and are usually found in multiples. They are a common concern and is it estimated that about 1 in 4 people will have had warts at least once in their life. They are caused by a viral infection by a variant of the HPV virus, and are usually found on the hands and feet. Although there are many HPV sub-types which cause different types of warts in different locations, the focus will be on the common wart.

Although the common wart is, for the most part, harmless, it is contagious and often spread via contact with cuts in the skin. Warts will generally clear on their own without any treatment, but recovery can be accelerated with treatment.

  • They can be felt by touch, and are usually hardened and rough
  • They can resemble small bits of cauliflower
  • They are most often found on the hands and feet
  • They are contagious
  • Can last from months or years, but usually go away on their own without treatment
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