Warts are caused by the HPV or human papillomavirus. The wart begins to form as the virus, which rests on the top of the skin, finds its way inside of the skin's protective barrier. Once inside, it begins to form the wart, which eventually erupts and establishes itself on the surface of the skin. There are over 100 types of warts associated with the HPV virus. Because warts are passed through a virus, they are most commonly passed from person to person by hand to hand contact. The human papillomavirus is everywhere. Everyone comes in contact with it at one time or another. The virus can actually stay dormant for months before making its way into the skin causing the wart to form.
Within the HPV or human papillomavirus there are over 100 separate and distinct subtypes of warts. Most warts have a particular place on the body where they tend to appear the most. Plantar warts appear on the hands and feet, while genital warts appear on the genitals. Common warts are those that can appear almost anywhere on the body. Mosaic warts and periungual warts are most often found on the hands and feet. Warts tend to grow much quicker when the virus is able to enter an open wound and establish itself. The HPV virus is transferred easily from person to person or object to person making it extremely important to not share items and to keep the body free of scratches and cuts as much as possible.
Most warts will eventually go away on their own. The location of the wart can pose a significant problem in the meantime. Plantar warts that are on the bottoms of the feet can be extremely painful when a person walks. Warts that develop on the hands or fingers can make it difficult to perform certain tasks. Some warts will continue to grow and spread, becoming unsightly and very unattractive. If the wart is not causing problems, the patient can let it go away on its own or use a home remedy to try and hasten its departure. If the wart needs to be removed immediately, a doctor can excise it with a scalpel in his office or he can freeze it. Lasers are also being used for wart removal as well.
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