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Common wart - Skin in Adult
See also in: External and Internal Eye,Anogenital,Immunocompromised, HIV and AIDS
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Common wart - Skin in Adult

See also in: External and Internal Eye,Anogenital,Immunocompromised, HIV and AIDS
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Contributors: Noah Craft MD, PhD, Lindy P. Fox MD, Lowell A. Goldsmith MD, MPH, Michael D. Tharp MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Common warts (verruca vulgaris) are benign skin proliferations caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) types 2 and 4. They may be transmitted by direct or indirect contact. Autoinoculation is common. They can occur on virtually any epidermal surface, including mucosal surfaces, but common warts are most often seen on the hands, feet, and knees, and they present as flesh-colored, hyperkeratotic papules. May occur in tattoos. Warts are more common in the immunocompromised and school-aged children. They also occur more frequently in whites.


B07.8 – Other viral warts

57019003 – Common wart

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Diagnostic Pearls

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Seborrheic keratoses have a characteristic "stuck-on," waxy appearance.
  • A clavus, or corn, is a painful hyperkeratotic lesion with a central core that lacks the pinpoint thrombosed capillaries and retains normal skin dermatoglyphics. Clavi occur in sites of pressure and repeated friction.
  • Foreign body reactions may have a history of trauma or inoculation.
  • Molluscum contagiosum lesions are smooth, dome-shaped papules with a central umbilication.
  • Actinic keratoses tend to be scaly erythematous papules in sun-exposed areas of elderly individuals.
  • Lichen planus lesions are typically more planar, violaceous, and pruritic.
  • Keratoacanthomas have a central keratin crater.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma can arise in preexisting warts and may be recalcitrant to therapy.
  • Prurigo nodularis is characterized by pruritic papules and nodules.
  • Perforating folliculitis tends to be follicularly based with a central core.
  • Cutaneous horns can arise from warts, hypertrophic actinic keratoses, seborrheic keratoses, and squamous cell carcinomas.
  • Lichen nitidus is characterized by discrete, dome-shaped papules.

Best Tests

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Management Pearls

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Drug Reaction Data

Below is a list of drugs with literature evidence indicating an adverse association with this diagnosis. The list is continually updated through ongoing research and new medication approvals. Click on Citations to sort by number of citations or click on Medication to sort the medications alphabetically.

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Last Updated: 02/05/2015
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Common wart - Skin in Adult
See also in: External and Internal Eye,Anogenital,Immunocompromised, HIV and AIDS
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Common wart : Knee, Verrucous scaly papule, Verrucous scaly plaque, Feet, Hands
Clinical image of Common wart
A close-up of a verrucous plaque with overlying white scale and a similar smaller papule.
Copyright © 2019 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.