Warts are a common condition that develops on different areas of the body as a result of infection by a type of human papillomavirus (HPV). There are several different types of warts, which may have a different appearance and tend to occur in different areas. In general, warts tend to appear on warm, moist parts of the body, such as the hands, feet, knees and elbows.
Although they can affect anyone, warts are most common in children and young adults, as they are passed through direct contact with an infected area. Warts often appear as small skin growths that may be flat or slightly raised, and can be brown, gray, pink or skin-colored. Your doctor can diagnose warts through a simple physical exam.
While warts are not usually considered harmful, they may be painful or embarrassing and should be thoroughly treated to relieve symptoms and prevent them from spreading to other people or other parts of the body. Most warts can be treated through conservative methods such as applying salicylic acid or cantharidin or by undergoing cryotherapy (freezing) treatments.