Warts are growths that originate in the top layer of skin and are caused by a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). This causes the skin to grow and multiply quickly, forming a wart.
There are more than 150 different types of HPV. Warts may grow in clusters, and they may be flesh-colored, or they may appear slightly lighter or slightly darker. Most warts have a dry, rough surface and may appear to have red or black “seeds” in them. These “seeds” are, in truth, blood vessels that supply blood to the wart.
Warts can be spread by picking at the wart and then touching another part of the body. If you chew on a wart, HPV may infect your lips or face. Warts can be spread from one person to another through skin-to-skin contact or by sharing personal items such as towels or razors. The type of HPV that causes genital warts is very easily transmitted through sexual contact.
Most warts can eventually go away on their own. If the wart is painful, frequently becomes irritated and bleeds, affects normal activity, or if they are quickly multiplying, it may need to be treated. Treatments may include the use of topical medications, cryotherapy, or curettage.