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Warts are skin growths caused by a virus on the surface of the skin. It can be unsightly and sometimes painful. While warts can occur anywhere on the body, they are most common on the hands (known as common warts) or the soles of the feet (known as plantar warts).
Warts can occur in a variety of shapes and sizes. A wart may appear as a bump with a rough surface, or it may be flat and smooth. Tiny blood vessels grow into the wart and may appear as dark dots in the center. Typically, the skin lines and creases over the wart are distorted. Warts can appear either alone or in groups.
Common warts appear most often on the hands and can be easily recognized by the rough, cauliflower-like appearance of the surface. They are usually about the size of a pencil eraser.
Plantar warts are located on the bottom of the foot. They look like hard, thick patches of skin with dark specks. Plantar warts can be as large as two inches across but are typically about the size of a pencil eraser. Plantar warts can be very painful, especially when walking.
Warts are caused by a virus that can enter the skin through a cut or abrasion. The virus causes the top layer of skin to grow rapidly, resulting in a wart.
Warts are contagious and can be easily spread through direct contact. You can reinfect yourself by touching the wart and then another part of your body, and you can infect others by sharing personal items such as towels and razors.