Pictures Of Warts On Feet

Published
Pictures Of Warts On Feet
Beautiful young african american woman over isolated background smiling with hands on chest with closed eyes and grateful gesture on face. Health concept.

Many readers are interested in the following topic: What to know about warts on the feet. We are happy to note, that our authors have already studied the modern research about the topic you are interested in. Based on the information provided in the latest medical digests, modern research and surveys, we provide extensive answer. Keep reading to find out more.

People can also try various home remedies to treat warts, such as salicylic acid products or the duct tape method. The video below is from the American Academy of Dermatologists and explains how to use home remedies.

What Different Types of Warts Look Like

Heather L. Brannon, MD, is a family practice physician in Mauldin, South Carolina. She has been in practice for over 20 years.

Updated on April 09, 2022

Leah Ansell, MD, is board-certified in cosmetic and medical dermatology. She is an assistant professor at Columbia University and works in private practice in New York City.

Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Warts are benign or noncancerous fleshy growths on the skin. They’re caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts can appear on any part of the body.

They are most common in children and young adults. Most warts, with the exception of certain ones that develop on the bottom of the feet, are painless.

Wart on the bottom of a person's foot being treated by a medical specialist

All warts are highly contagious. They can easily spread from one part of the body to another and from one person to another. This can occur even through casual contact such as a handshake.

They often go away on their own but can be treated with topical medications. They can also be removed with noninvasive procedures.

Warts are easy to identify just by looking at them. Although they’re benign, in very rare cases warts have been known to develop into a very slow-growing cancer called verrucous carcinoma . If you have a wart that bothers you or doesn’t go away, have your doctor take a look at it.

This article covers the various types of warts and what they look like.

Click Play to Learn All About Warts

This video has been medically reviewed by Casey Gallagher, MD.

Common Wart

An adult holds the hand of a child with a macro wart

Warts can appear anywhere on the body. But they are most common on the backs of the hands and on fingers near the nails. Common warts often grow in areas where the skin has been broken.

Sometimes common warts are called “seed” warts because they are sprinkled with black dots that look like seeds. These actually are tiny blood clots.

Flat Wart

Smaller and smoother than other warts, flat warts are slightly raised. They’re the color of skin or brownish-yellow in color. These types of warts appear in clusters of a few dozen to a hundred.

Women tend to get flat warts on their legs. Men get them in the beard area. Children get them on the face. Although they aren’t painful, flat warts can be difficult to treat.

Plantar Wart

verruca on the finger wart freeze concept

Plantar warts get their name because they appear on the soles of the feet. They have a rough texture that causes them to resemble calluses or corns rather than warts.

Of all warts, plantar warts are the one type that can be painful. They’re often tender and can cause discomfort when standing or walking. Multiple plantar warts that grow in clusters are called mosaic warts. They can be difficult to treat.

This type of wart also can develop on the palms of the hands. When this occurs, they’re called palmar warts.

Genital Wart on the Vagina

Genital warts in women most commonly develop on the labia and near the opening of the vagina. Pink, soft, and slightly raised, genital warts can vary in size and develop as clusters.

Symptoms of genital warts in women may include:

  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Tenderness around the vagina

They are spread by sexual contact. Genital warts are not caused by the same strain of HPV that causes common warts.

Genital warts, also known as condylomata acuminata, are among the most common sexually transmitted infections (STI). They affect more than 500,000 people each year in the United States.

Genital Wart on the Penis

Genital warts in men develop most often on:

  • The tip of the shaft of the penis
  • The scrotum
  • The anus

They tend to be softer than other warts and resemble skin tags.

Genital warts can also develop in the mouth or throat of a person who has had oral sexual contact with an infected person. Symptoms of genital warts in men include itching or discomfort.

Filiform Wart

removing skin wart

Filiform warts look unusual. They are long, narrow columns of flesh that stick out of the skin. Filiform warts most often appear on the face, especially around the eyes, nose, and lips. They do not appear in clusters.

Despite their appearance, filiform warts are harmless. These kinds of warts usually disappear without treatment.

Periungual Wart

Periungual warts develop around fingernails and toenails. They are accompanied by peeling and roughening of the surface.

Periungual warts can affect the shape of a fingernail by pushing it up or causing partial detachment. When this happens, they can cause pain and interfere with normal nail growth.

Summary

Warts are noncancerous fleshy growths on the skin. They’re caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts can appear on any part of the body. There are different types of warts that can grow on your skin.

Warts are extremely contagious. You can pass warts on to other people through skin-to-skin contact. In extremely rare cases, some warts can develop into a slow-growing cancer called verrucous carcinoma. It’s important to see your doctor if you have a wart that bothers you or doesn’t go away.

A Word From Verywell

Warts on your skin can be embarrassing. Sometimes they can even be uncomfortable, causing itching, burning, or tenderness. If you have warts on your skin that are painful or cause discomfort, contact your doctor. They can provide the right treatment to improve the health and appearance of your skin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there different types of warts?

  • Common warts are the standard type of wart that is found as lumps of skin on fingers, toes, knees, and other parts of the body.
  • Plantar warts grow into the soles of the feet and can be painful.
  • Flat warts are small flat-topped warts that grow in large groups on the face, thighs, or arms.
  • Filiform warts look like tiny flaps of skin or flesh-colored skin tags that grow around the mouth, nose, neck, or chin.
  • Periungual warts grow under and around toenails and fingernails.

Are warts contagious?

  • Do not share towels, clothing, or other personal items.
  • Don’t touch someone else’s wart.
  • Wear flip-flops around public pools, in locker rooms, and in public showers.

Are finger warts a sexually transmitted disease?

No, warts on a finger cannot be transmitted sexually. Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), but only certain HPV strains cause genital warts. Of the more than 100 HPV strains, only about 40 can be spread through sexual contact. You cannot contract genital warts from a common wart on the finger.

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Campaner AB, Cardoso FA, Fernandes GL, Veasey JV. Verrucous carcinoma of the vulva: diagnosis and treatment. An Bras Dermatol. 2017;92(2):243-245. doi:10.1590/abd1806-4841.20174929
  2. TeensHealth. Warts.
  3. Vlahovic TC, Khan MT. The human papillomavirus and its role in plantar warts: a comprehensive review of diagnosis and management. Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 2016;33(3):337-53. doi:10.1016/j.cpm.2016.02.003
  4. Yanofsky VR, Patel RV, Goldenberg G. Genital warts: a comprehensive review. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2012;5(6):25–36.
  5. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Warts in children.
  6. Patidar S. Combination treatment of periungual warts. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2008;1(1):23–24. doi:10.4103/0974-2077.41154

By Heather L. Brannon, MD
Heather L. Brannon, MD, is a family practice physician in Mauldin, South Carolina. She has been in practice for over 20 years.

What to know about warts on the feet

Warts are bumps that can grow on any body part, including the feet. They are noncancerous skin growths that may be painful but usually disappear on their own.

Plantar warts are rough bumps that grow on the feet. They usually appear on the heels — the areas of the feet that experience the most pressure.

Plantar warts result from human papillomavirus (HPV). The virus can penetrate cuts or tears on the soles of the feet. Up to 33% of children have warts, but they are less common in adults.

Like any other type of warts, plantar warts are harmless and go away with little to no treatment. However, treatments are available.

This article explains warts on the feet, their causes and treatment, and more.

Two feet sticking out of seawater.

Plantar warts usually grow on the soles of the feet, particularly at pressure points. Plantar warts are sometimes called verrucas, and they can grow quite large.

Unlike other kinds of warts, plantar warts do not grow outward. Because the soles of the feet support the body when a person is standing, pressure pushes the warts inward, which can cause pain.

Two types of plantar warts can appear on the feet:

  • Myrmecial-type plantar warts: These warts develop as a result of HPV-1 infection. They appear as domed, smooth-surfaced lesions. The myrmecial type may contain black or brownish dots, which are tiny burst blood vessels. They tend to cause pain while a person is walking or standing.
  • Mosaic-type plantar warts: Mosaic-type warts are clusters of plantar warts that pack tightly together. HPV-2 infection is responsible for this type of warts. They tend to be flatter and less painful than myrmecial warts.

General symptoms of plantar warts include:

  • a solitary rough growth or a cluster of small growths on the sole of the foot
  • hard, thickened skin at the place where the wart grows inward
  • black or brownish dots, which are burst capillaries
  • pain when walking or standing

Plantar warts result from HPV infections. Warts occur when the virus enters skin cells through cuts or injuries on the bottom of the foot. The virus makes the skin cells grow more quickly, which causes a thickened bump, or wart, to form.

HPV is very common and contagious, with hundreds of variations. However, only a few types of HPV cause plantar warts. The viruses perform best in warm, moist places such as communal areas near swimming pools, and they are most likely to infect moist or injured skin.

If a person scratches or picks a wart, they may transfer the virus elsewhere, such as under the fingernail. This might cause more warts to grow, separately from the original infection site.

Although anyone can develop plantar warts, this type of wart is more common in:

  • school-age children
  • people with compromised immune systems
  • people with dermatitis, who have a weakened skin barrier
  • people who walk barefoot in damp, warm places where HPV thrives
  • people who live with other people who have warts
  • people who work with raw meat

Although warts on the feet are noncancerous and often go away on their own, they may cause complications.

The discomfort from plantar warts may cause someone to change the way they stand or walk. This could ultimately affect a person’s posture and cause pain elsewhere, such as in the knee or hip. Pain may also interfere with sporting activities and prevent a person from being active.

Any warts on the skin may also cause embarrassment or lead to teasing at school. Children may experience negativity from others as a result of having a contagious condition, however benign.

Warts are contagious regardless of location. However, there are a few things people with warts can do to avoid transmitting the virus to unaffected areas or to other people:

  • Avoid touching or scratching warts, and wash the hands properly after touching them.
  • Keep the feet clean, dry, and protected from cuts.
  • Cover warts with a bandage when swimming.
  • Avoid sharing towels, washcloths, shoes, or socks with other people.
  • Wear sandals or flip-flops when walking in a pool area or locker room.
  • Do not share pumice stones or skin files with others.
  • Wear clean socks every day.

A doctor will check the feet for distinctive features to diagnose a plantar wart. They may scrape or cut off the top layer with a scalpel to check for black dots.

To confirm their diagnosis, the doctor may send the skin sample to a laboratory for analysis.

However, a 2022 article in the Journal of Medical Virology describes a newer diagnosis method involving taking a swab of the suspected wart. Doctors test the swab using the multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. The researchers found identical results using the PCR method and older methods.

Warts often go away without treatment, although this can take several weeks to years . The immune system can clear the virus over time, so the warts disappear. People with compromised immune systems may find it more difficult to get rid of warts.

Doctors have many treatment options for warts, including:

  • cryotherapy, or freezing medication
  • cantharidin, which causes a blister under the wart that cuts off its blood supply
  • electrosurgery and curettage, which involves scraping and burning the wart
  • excision, which involves cutting off the wart

For stubborn warts, a dermatologist may recommend laser treatment or immunotherapy.

People can also try various home remedies to treat warts, such as salicylic acid products or the duct tape method. The video below is from the American Academy of Dermatologists and explains how to use home remedies.

What happens if you leave a wart untreated?

Warts usually go away on their own. However, this may take months or years to happen. While they are still present, they can spread to unaffected areas of the body or to other people.

Can warts be cancerous?

Common warts are noncancerous. If someone has a wart-like growth on their skin and is unsure what it is, they can consult a doctor to confirm the diagnosis.

Warts usually disappear on their own, but if a person wants treatment, they can ask a pharmacist for recommendations. A person should contact a doctor if:

  • they have a wart that keeps coming back
  • their wart is very large or painful
  • their wart bleeds or changes in appearance
  • they are worried about a wart-like growth

In people with robust immune systems, warts usually disappear within several months or years. In children, about 50% of warts disappear within 6 months without needing treatment, and 90% disappear within 2 years. There is little data on the natural course of warts in adults.

Treatment for plantar warts focuses on removing skin that contains the virus. If some virus remains, the wart is likely to recur.

Warts on the feet develop when a person’s foot comes into contact with skin cells that carry HPV. This is more likely to happen when the foot is moist or the skin is broken. HPV thrives in warm, damp areas such as communal changing rooms.

Plantar warts are not harmful, but they can be painful. Although treatment is unnecessary, people may choose to buy over-the-counter remedies or talk with a doctor about other wart-removal options.

Most warts disappear on their own, but in people with compromised immune systems, they might take longer to disappear.

People can take precautions, such as washing their hands after touching their feet, to prevent HPV from spreading to other body parts or to other people.

Last medically reviewed on October 17, 2022

  • Dermatology
  • Atopic Dermatitis / Eczema
  • Infectious Diseases / Bacteria / Viruses

How we reviewed this article:

Medical News Today has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and associations. We avoid using tertiary references. We link primary sources — including studies, scientific references, and statistics — within each article and also list them in the resources section at the bottom of our articles. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

  • American Academy of Dermatology. (2015). Home treatment for warts [Video file].
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKCJTY7p2p4&t=131
  • HPV infection. (2021).
    https://www.cdc.gov/hpv/parents/about-hpv.html
  • García-Oreja, S., et al. (2022). A non-invasive method for diagnosing plantar warts caused by human papillomavirus (HPV).
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jmv.27514
  • Plantar wart (Verruca plantaris). (n.d.).
    https://www.foothealthfacts.org/conditions/plantar-wart-(verruca-plantaris)
  • Viral wart. (2021).
    https://dermnetnz.org/topics/viral-wart
  • Warts. (2020).
    https://www.americanskin.org/resource/warts.php
  • Warts and verrucas. (2020).
    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/warts-and-verrucas/
  • Warts: Overview. (2019).
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279586/

Share this article

Pictures Of Warts On Feet

Medically reviewed by Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI — By Margaret Etudo on October 17, 2022

Latest news

Related Coverage

Medically reviewed by Owen Kramer, MD
Medically reviewed by University of Illinois
Medically reviewed by Susan Bard, MD
Medically reviewed by Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI
Medically reviewed by Bukky Aremu, APRN

  • About Us
  • Contact Us
  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Privacy Settings
  • Advertising Policy

© 2004-2023 Healthline Media UK Ltd, Brighton, UK, a Red Ventures Company. All rights reserved. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional. See additional information.

© 2004-2023 Healthline Media UK Ltd, Brighton, UK, a Red Ventures Company. All rights reserved. MNT is the registered trade mark of Healthline Media. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional. See additional information.