Warts and Verrucas
Warts are small lumps that develop on the skin. Verrucas are a type of wart that affects the bottom of the feet.
Most people will have warts at some point in their life. They’re generally harmless and tend to go away on their own eventually, but this can take months or even years.
Warts can be spread around the body and to other people.
Warts and verruca’s come in all shapes and sizes. They can affect any part of the body, but are more common on the hands and feet.
- tend to be round or oval-shaped (although some are long and thin)
- are usually firm and raised
- have a rough, irregular surface similar to a cauliflower (although some are smooth)
- vary in size, from less than 1mm to more than 1cm across
- can appear on their own or in a group
- develop on the soles of the feet
- are white, often with a black dot in the center
- tend to be flat rather than raised
- can be painful if they’re on a weight-bearing part of the foot
It can be difficult to tell warts apart from other skin conditions, such as skin tags, moles or actinic keratosis. See your GP if you’re not sure.
Most warts and verrucas will eventually clear up without treatment.
While you have a wart or verruca, you should also take steps to avoid passing it to others.
Causes of warts and verrucas
Warts don’t spread easily, but they can be passed on from person to person through close skin contact or contact with contaminated objects or surfaces, such as:
- shoes and socks
- areas surrounding swimming pools
- floors of communal changing areas
You’re more likely to get infected if your skin is wet or damaged. After becoming infected, it can take weeks or even months for a wart or verruca to appear.