A wart is the infection of the skin by the Human Papilloma virus that causes the appearance of hard tissue on the skin surface. They may appear on the hands, feet (these are more commonly known as verrucae) and on the genitals.
The actual appearance of the wart is caused by excessive growth of a hard protein stimulated by the viral infection.
Veruccae look as if they are internal in nature but are actually warts forced into the skin by the pressure placed on the feet. The black spot that is often visible is caused by bleeding within the verruca from the pressure. Verrucae are high contagious and spread through skin contact and floors, which is why it is important to prevent the spread of verrucae by wearing special verruca socks when going swimming.
Warts are usually painless, except in the case of veruccae, where pain occurs when walking.
All warts will heal naturally if left alone, however there a number of treatments available over the counter, including therapeutic plasters, gels and creams. Genital and Facial warts should always be examined by a GP. Diabetic people should not treat warts or verrucae themselves and should always consult their GP.