Verrucae vulgaris are common warts Warts Warts (verrucae) are small skin growths caused by human papillomavirus infection. Warts are caused by human papillomaviruses. Raised or flat growths appear on any part of the skin. Most warts... read more , which are caused by infection with human papillomavirus Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes warts. Some types of HPV cause skin warts, and other types cause genital warts (growths in or around the vagina, penis, or rectum). Infection with some HPV... read more . Such warts can develop anywhere on the skin around the nail and frequently appear on the cuticle (the skin at the base of the nail) and sometimes the area beneath the nail. Warts involving the cuticle can affect nail growth and cause nail deformity. They are more common among people who have small wounds or trauma around the nails, such as those who bite their nails or work in jobs in which their hands are constantly exposed to water. Nail biting (onychophagia) can spread this infection from nail to nail or from nail to skin, such as to the borders of the lips.
Warts in these areas are especially difficult to treat. Freezing (cryotherapy) with liquid nitrogen may be effective. Sometimes salicylic acid, imiquimod, 5-fluorouracil, or tretinoin is also applied to the wart, particularly if warts are resistant to treatment.