Warts are small, rough skin growths that typically occur on the hands and feet. They may occur singly or in multiples, and may spread to other parts of the body. Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and are contagious.

Common Warts

Common warts most commonly occur on the hands, particularly on the knuckles and around the fingernails. Common warts may bleed if picked, scraped or cut and usually contain small black dots, which are small, clotted blood vessels at the center of the wart.

Flat Warts

Flat warts tend to be smaller than common warts, and are flat, flesh-colored and more commonly occur in multiples. Flat warts typically appear on the face, neck, legs and knees.

Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are hard, often painful lumps commonly found on the soles of the feet. They tend to be larger than common warts and are flesh-colored or brown with black specks.

Filiform Warts

Filiform warts are very small, thread-like warts typically found on the face, around the corners of lips and on the eyelids.

Genital Warts

Genital warts are caused by a type of sexually-transmitted HPV. These small warts can occur on the genitals, pubic area and rectum, or inside the vagina in women.


Many warts can be successfully treated with an over-the-counter salicylic acid solution. Other treatment options by a physician include cryotherapy, blistering compounds, surgical excision, laser surgery, and immunotherapy. Even with proper treatment, warts can be stubborn and may reoccur.