Warts and verrucae are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). The virus is contagious and can be spread by contact with someone else who is infected or by coming into contact with infected skin cells in places like communal showering areas. The virus enters through small breaks in your skin and infection is thought to be more likely if your skin is wet.

The virus infects the basal layer of the skin and produces new infected cells. The basal layer is next to the dermis and as the virus multiplies, blood vessels and nerve endings can be drawn into the infected cells.

It can be difficult to tell the difference between a verruca and a callus on the sole of your foot, however a verruca will often have black dots in the centre (blood vessels) and the normal skin lines will be interrupted.



Verrucae are most commonly seen in children, teenagers and young adults. It is possible to develop an immunity against the virus over time but some people can remain susceptible.



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