Warts are small, rough lumps that often develop on the skin of the feet.
Warts vary in appearance depending on where they are on the body and how thick the skin is. They can develop in isolation or in clusters and are non-cancerous.
Some warts are more likely to affect particular areas of the body. For example, verrucas are warts that usually develop on the soles of the feet.
Most people will have warts at some point in their life. They tend to affect children and teenagers more than adults.
What causes warts?
Warts are caused by an infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV).
The virus causes an excess amount of keratin, a hard protein, to develop in the top skin layer (epidermis). The extra keratin produces the rough, hard texture of a wart.
Are warts contagious?
Warts are very contagious, and close skin-to-skin contact can pass on the infection. The infection can also be transmitted indirectly from contaminated objects or surfaces, such as the area surrounding a swimming pool. After becoming infected, it can take weeks or even months for a wart or verruca to appear.
When to see a Podiatrist
Most types of warts are easy to identify because they have a distinctive appearance. Although, you should always see a Podiatrist if you have a growth on your skin you are unable to identify or are worried about. Your Podiatrist will be able to tell if it’s a wart simply by looking at it.
You should also visit your Podiatrist if you have a wart on your feet that:
Symptoms of Verrucas & Warts
Warts are not usually painful but some types, such as verrucas, may hurt. Occasionally, warts can also itch or bleed.
There are several different types of warts which all vary in size and shape. For example, warts can range from 1mm to more than 10mm (1cm) in diameter.
The different types of warts are described below.
Common warts (verruca vulgaris)
If you have a common wart it will:
Verrucas usually develop on the soles of your feet. The affected area of skin will:
It is possible to have between one and several hundred plane warts, which can develop in clusters. They are usually:
Filiform warts (verruca filiformis)
Filiform warts are long and slender in appearance and often develop on the neck, face and nostrils.
Periungual warts develop under and around the fingernails and toenails. They:
Mosaic warts grow in clusters and form a ‘tile-like’ pattern. They often develop on the palms of the hands and on the feet.