Warts are raised bumps on your skin caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts have plagued humans for thousands of years - they have been discovered on 3,000-year-old mummies and were mentioned by Shakespeare. Although warts are generally not dangerous, they are ugly, potentially embarrassing, contagious, and they can be painful.Different strains may cause warts in different parts of the body. Warts can be spread from one location on the body to another or from person to person by contact with the wart. The main symptom is a fleshy, painless growth on the skin. Common areas affected include the hands, feet and genitals.