Warts are small, rough, lumps that often appear on the hands and feet, they vary in appearance depending on where they are on the body and how thick the skin is in that area. They can develop in isolation or in clusters and are non-cancerous.
Warts on Hand
Some warts are more likely to affect particular areas of the body. For example, warts may appear on hands and fingers.
A Verrucae is a plantar wart which usually develops on the soles of the feet, with a cauliflower like surface. They sometimes show tiny dark spots which are actually spots of blood. Verrucae have a good blood supply and quite often bleed when being treated.
What causes warts/verrucae?
Warts are caused by an infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV).
The virus causes an excess amount of keratin, a hard protein, to develop in the top skin layer (epidermis). The extra keratin produces the rough, hard texture of a wart.
Are warts/verrucae contagious?
They are very contagious, and close skin-to-skin contact can pass on the infection.
The infection can also be transmitted indirectly from contaminated objects or surfaces, such as the area surrounding swimming pool and changing rooms.
Warts are thought to be contagious for as long as they are present on your body. The virus is more likely to spread if the skin is wet, soft or has been in contact with a rough surface.
Warts can also be spread to other parts of your own body. You can spread the virus if you:
- Scratch, knock or bite a wart
- Bite your nails or suck your fingers (if they have warts on them)
- Shave your face or legs
- Share towels, flannels or other personal items with someone who has a wart or verruca
- Share socks and shoes with a person infected with the HPV virus
After becoming infected, it can take weeks or even months for a wart or Verrucae to appear.