How to heal warts more quickly and prevent new ones

Warts: Signs and Symptoms

Types of warts

There are a few different types of warts. The type is determined by where it grows on the body and what it looks like. The following describes the signs (what a person sees) and symptoms (what a person feels) for some of the different types of warts.

Common warts

(also called vurruca vulgaris)

Common warts have these traits:

  • Grow most often on the fingers, around the nails, and on the backs of the hands.
  • Are more common where skin was broken, such as from biting fingernails or picking at hangnails.
  • Can have black dots that look like seeds (often called “seed” warts).
  • Most often feel like rough bumps.

Wart under a child’s nose

Children frequently get common warts. If you see a wart on your child’s face, check your child’s hands for warts. The virus can spread from the hands to the face through touch or nail biting.

Foot warts

(also called plantar warts)
Plantar warts have these traits:

  • Grow most often on the soles (plantar surface) of the feet
  • Can grow in clusters (mosaic warts)
  • Often are flat or grow inward (walking creates pressure, which causes the warts to grow inward)
  • Can hurt, feels like you have pebbles in your shoe
  • Can have black dots

Plantar warts

These warts appear on the sole of the foot and can be hard to treat.

Flat warts

Flat warts have these traits:

  • Can occur anywhere. Children usually get them on the face. Men get these most often in the beard area, and women tend to get them on their legs.
  • Are smaller and smoother than other warts.
  • Tend to grow in large numbers, 20 to 100 at a time.

Filiform warts

Filiform warts have these traits:

  • Looks like long threads or thin fingers that stick out
  • Often grows on the face: around the mouth, eyes, and nose
  • Often grow quickly

HIV weakens the immune system

This boy has HIV, and warts cover his hands and other parts of his body.


Images used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.

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