A wart is a harmless but contagious skin growth caused by a viral infection in the top layer of the skin. The virus that causes warts belongs to the human papilloma virus (HPV) family. They are usually benign. Warts occur in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and can develop anywhere on the body.
These growths are found mostly on the hands and known as common warts while those found on feet are known as plantar warts. A wart may be flat or smooth, or appear as a bump with a rough surface. Dark dots may also appear in the center of the wart. They also develop in clusters or alone.
Warts are unsightly and may often cause embarrassment if they are very noticeable. They sometimes cause pain, especially when pressure is placed on the wart – for instance, when walking. Warts tend to affect children and young adults more, but men and women of all ages develop them each year.