Symptoms of warts and verrucas 

Warts are not usually painful, but some types, such as verrucas, may hurt. They can occasionally itch or bleed.

There are several different types of warts, all varying in size and shape. The different types are described below.

Common warts (verruca vulgaris)

If you have a common wart, it will:

  • be round or oval-shaped
  • be firm and raised
  • have a rough, irregular surface similar to a cauliflower
  • often develop on the knuckles, fingers and knees
  • vary in size, from less than 1mm to more than 10mm (1cm) in diameter

You may develop one common wart or several.

Verrucas (plantar warts)

Verrucas usually develop on the soles of the feet. The affected area of skin will:

  • be white, often with a black dot (blood vessel) in the centre
  • be flat rather than raised
  • sometimes be painful if they are on a weight-bearing part of the foot 

Plane warts

It is possible to have between one and several hundred plane warts, which can develop in clusters. They are usually:

  • a yellowish colour
  • smooth, round and flat-topped
  • 2-4mm in diameter 
  • common in young children – mainly affecting the hands, face and legs

Plane warts can sometimes develop on the lower legs of women, as the human papilloma virus (HPV) can be spread through shaving. 

Filiform warts (verruca filiformis)

Filiform warts are long and slender in appearance, often developing on the neck or face.

Periungual warts

Periungual warts develop under and around the fingernails or toenails. They:

  • have a rough surface
  • can affect the shape of the nail
  • can be painful

Mosaic warts

Mosaic warts grow in clusters and form a "tile-like" pattern. They often develop on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.

Page last reviewed: 11/09/2014

Next review due: 11/09/2016