Wart on a child's hand

Warts & Verrucas

Warts are small, rough lumps or growths on your skin caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). The virus infects cells in your skin, causing it to thicken and coarsen. Most people get one at some point in their lives. You can get them anywhere, but warts are most common on your hands, knees and feet. A wart on the sole of your foot is called a verruca.

Types of Warts & Verrucas

There are four main types of warts caused by human papilloma virus (HPV). They look different but are all essentially caused the same way. There are over 150 different types of HPV but most warts are caused by only a few specific types.

Common wart

These are firm, round, raised growths with a rough surface, which can look like a very small cauliflower. They are generally skin coloured, but often have tiny black dots on the surface. They’re most commonly found on your hands or knees. They are usually a few millimetres across but can range from the size of a pinpoint to 1cm across.

Verruca (plantar wart)

These are warts on the soles of your feet. They may have tiny black dots in the centre and can be painful when you put weight on them. They tend to look quite flat because of the pressure put on them. Sometimes, if you have clusters of verrucas, they can fuse together. These are called mosaic warts.

Plane wart (flat wart)

This is a round, smooth growth that’s often yellow in colour. They may be flat or slightly raised. You may have one, a few grouped together or even a group of hundreds of these warts. They most commonly appear on your face, neck, the back of your hands or your legs.

Genital warts

These are caused by different types of HPV than the other types of wart. They are spread by sexual contact and are the most commonly diagnosed sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the UK. If you have these warts, it’s important to go to a STI clinic for further advice. They are treated differently to other types of wart.


Many people with warts worry about how they look, especially if they’re on your hands or face. But apart from their appearance, warts and verrucas don’t usually cause any symptoms. You may find them uncomfortable or painful if they’re on your feet or near your nail beds. Sometimes common warts may crack and bleed.

Warts and verrucas are usually harmless and go away by themselves without treatment. In children, about half go away within a year, and about two-thirds disappear within two years. It may take longer for warts and verrucas to clear up for adults – in some cases up to 10 years.

Warts do not cause you any harm, but some people may find them embarrassing. You can treat warts if they bother you or are painful.


Warts and verrucas are usually caused by direct skin contact or contact with surfaces contaminated with the human papilloma virus (HPV). Although warts are contagious, it’s thought that the risk of catching them is fairly low. Taking the following precautions may help to prevent warts and verrucas.

  • Try not to touch other people’s warts or verrucas.
  • Don’t share your towels, shoes or socks.
  • Wear flip-flops in communal showers.
  • Cover your wart or verruca with a waterproof plaster when you go swimming.
  • Don’t scratch or pick your wart or verruca as it’s more likely to spread.
  • If you use nail files or pumice stones on your wart or verruca, don’t use these on other areas of your skin.

Finesse Skin Clinic offers the following treatment for warts & verrucas.

The very best

At Finesse we offer you the most effective, tried and tested, non-surgical treatments for your skincare journey.

Cryopen IQ PRO Liquid Pen is a CE and FDA registered

Find out more

Why not book a consultation to have your wart examined and see if you are suitable to have it removed with this fast, safe and effective treatment.

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