What is the difference between a wart, verruca, and papilloma?

Nothing! They are three different words describing the same type of lesion. Their differences merely reside in where you find these lesions. 

Warts are a lumpy, raised growth commonly found on the hands and feet. Sometimes a wart will be called a papilloma because they are caused by the human papillomavirus, and the benign growth has reached the skin’s surface. A wart is commonly referred to as a verruca when it is found on a person’s foot but can also be referred to as a verruca because a common wart’s medical term is Verruca vulgaris.

General Types of Warts

There are three general  types of warts:

  • Common Wart: A firm, round raised growths that can look very similar to cauliflower. More common on hands and knees.
  • Verruca (plantar wart): also commonly referred to as a verruca. This lesion gets its name from the medical term Verruca plantaris and is typically found on the soles of the feet. Like the common wart, it can have a cauliflower appearance, but because it is on the bottom of the foot, the pressure can cause the capillaries to rupture, creating small black dots.
  • Flat warts: A flat wart is a smooth round growth that is typically yellow in colour. They can appear by themselves or even in a group of hundreds. They are more commonly found on the face, neck, back of hands, and legs.


The Geelong Wart Clinic is Geelong’s only specialty wart clinic. Call 1300 283 063 to book your appointment now.