Some Common Causes of Warts

Warts are benign growths on the skin or mucous membranes of the body that can cause both cosmetic discomfort or physical pain.  As they are most commonly seen in children and teenagers but can occur in people of all ages.  Even though there are multiple types of wards there is really only one cause and that is the human papilloma virus (HPV).

There are more than 80 different types of HPV that have been identified and each of them have a different affinity for different types of body tissue.  They can also produce different looking conditions. The most common places warts can occur are on the fingers, genitals, buttocks, on bottoms of the feet.  In each of these places the warts have different names but the cause remains the same - HPV.

The human papilloma virus is passed from person to person by either direct or indirect contact and can actually be transfered from one body part to another part of the body by the individual who is infected.

Plantar warts occur on the soles of the feet and are often thick and appear callused.  They grow inward and can be painful for the sufferer.  They are very stubborn and resistant to treatment.  Ano-genital warts are flesh colored and grow in mucus membrane tissue.  They can grow inward and may extend internally into the vagina, uterus, rectum, and urethra (the tube that leads from the bladder to the outside).

Genital warts are generally painless but they can progress to more serious disease, such as cervical cancer.  They may also regress or remain in their primary growth stage.  It is important for anyone who has genital warts to be evaluated by their physican and women to have PAP smears on an annual basis.

Flat or plane warts can come up on the face, legs, hand or other parts of the body and often in large numbers.  Perungual warts are those that appear around or under the nailbed of the hands or feet.

This virus most easily enters the body through an area that is moist, peeling or cracking.  This accounts for the ability to pick up Plantar’s warts from the shower floor or transfering the virus from one hand to the other when the hands are cracked and peeling.

Newer warts will have more active virus particles than older warts and the state of the individuals immune system will also determine the ability of the HPV infection to proliferate in the body.  Many of these viruses are also sexually transmitted and can show up in the exterior of the genital area or can be located on the cervix in women.

It is highly unlikely that you will develop a wart each time you are exposed to the HPV infection.  Some people are more likely than others to develop warts.  If your immune system’s ability to fight infection changes - such as during chemotherapy or HIV infections - the individual may experience a great proliferation of the infection and find it’s easier to get and spread warts.

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