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What are warts?

Warts are benign skin growths caused by an infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV). It infects the epidermis (top layers of the skin). The virus enters your skin through a cut or scape. Warts are harmless, grow slowly and can take months to become visible, and can spread to other people and other areas through contact. Warts can also spread by touching with a surface recently touched by someone with a wart including towels.

Who is at risk for warts?

  • Children can get warts. Warts are stubborn and spread easily within the child’s body and from child to child.
  • People who bite their nails or pick at hangnails are at risk.
  • People with a weak immune system.

Where are warts found?
Warts are commonly found on the hands, feet, face, arms and legs, but they can grow under the finger and toe nails.

What are the types of warts?

Common warts typically affect the fingers around the nail, and on the back of the hands. They commonly grow in areas where the skin is broken. They are usually rough and skin colored but can also have black dots in them.

Plantar warts affect the soles of the feet. They tend to grow in clusters and are usually flat, growing inward due to pressure created from walking. They can have black dots and can hurt.

They can be difficult to treat.

Genital warts are a sexually transmitted disease.

Flat warts appear in areas that are frequently shaved like a man’s beard area, and a woman’s legs. They are small and smooth and tend to grow in large numbers.

Filiform warts look like long threads and grow quickly and are found around the mouth, eyes and nose. Filiform warts are found in people with HIV and a compromised immune system.


Dr. Kandula has many treatments that will help. However, there is no cure for the virus so warts can spread or disappear and return at a different location.  Treating new warts quickly can prevent spread. Seek treatment with Dr. Swetha Kandula. She a board-certified dermatologist in Parsippany, New Jersey.