DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Nasal warts within the left nostril of a 14-year- old boy. Warts are contagious but harmless. They are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), of which there are at least thirty different types. Warts affect only the outermost layer of skin (epidermis) giving them a firm, sharply defined appearance. They appear in a range of colours and textures, from smooth to irregular. Fifty percent of warts disappear spontaneously within a year. They can be removed in a number of ways including chemically and by freezing (cryotherapy).
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