Verrucae vulgares

Last Updated: 2023-07-07

Author(s): Anzengruber F., Navarini A.

ICD11: 1E 80

Ciuffo, 1907.

Vulgar warts.

Frequent cellular infection with human papilloma (HP) viruses.

  • Incidence in children approx. 10%
  • Affected are mainly children and adolescents

  • Viral warts are caused by human papilloma viruses (HPV), which are obligatory intracellular pathogens. The viruses enter the epidermis through injuries to the skin or mucosa, where they find host cells and morphologically alter them. The viral genome is replicated and viral warts spread
  • Predisposing factors: Immunosuppression, atopy, sebostasis or hyperhidrosis and acrocyanosis

Division according to morphology and localisation

  • Verrucae vulgares
  • Verrucae plantares (plantar warts)
  • Verrucae palmares
  • Verrucae paronychiales
  • Verrucae subunguales

Special manifestations

  • Verrucae filiformes
  • Mosaic warts
  • Verrucae planae juveniles
  • Epidermodysplasia verruciformis
  • Mostly < 1 cm in diameter hyperkeratotic, skin-coloured or grey-yellowish, dermal, papillomatous tumours with a verrucous surface
  • Dermatoscopy
    • No pigmentation, skin-coloured to pink clods with centrally localised punctate vessel

  • Clinical diagnosis
  • If there is uncertainty due to unusual localisation or rapid growth, a biopsy is indicated


  • In paraffin for HE staining
  • Indicated in cases of resistance to therapy or atypical clinical picture

HPV subtyping by PCR

  • Only necessary in exceptional cases
  • It is possible from paraffin material
  • Request: Note on histology slip or order via histology assistants

Palmoplantar, on the backs of the hands, periunguinal and rarely on the tip of the nose.

Severe acanthosis, papillomatosis, hyperkeratosis, hypergranulosis, vacuolated cells, koilocytes, widening of the stratum granulosum (absent in condylomata acuminata).

  • Very high recurrence rates
  • Educate patients about the importance of adherence

  • Altmeyer, Peter. Enzyklopädie Dermatologie, Allergologie, Umweltmedizin. Heidelberg: Springer Medizin, 2011. Print.
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