warts, hpv, human papillomavirus, taking care of your skin, derm institute of west michigan, caledonia mi,

Warts 101: Understanding Causes, Contagion, and Cure

warts, hpv, human papillomavirus, taking care of your skin, derm institute of west michigan, caledonia mi,

Have you ever had a small, bumpy, hard growth on your skin that you’ve wondered about? Chances are, it’s a wart. Warts are small, non-cancerous growths on the skin caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). They can occur anywhere on the skin, including on the face, hands, feet, and genitals. While generally harmless, warts can be a nuisance and can cause discomfort or embarrassment, especially when they appear in visible areas of the body.Despite being a common condition, warts often raise questions like how do you get them, are they contagious, and will they spread? We’ll be answering those questions and more in today’s informative blog post.

What Causes Warts?

Warts are caused by a virus (HPV) that enters the body through an infection of the skin. Different strains of the virus can cause different types of warts that can appear anywhere on the body. Common warts, also known as verruca vulgaris, often appear on the hands and fingers and have a rough, grainy appearance. Plantar warts appear on the soles of the feet, have a flattened appearance, and can cause discomfort or pain when walking. Other types of warts include flat warts, genital warts, and filiform warts.

This virus can be easily transmitted from person to person through skin-to-skin contact. You can also catch the virus from items with HPV on them, such as towels, clothing, or even floors. Places where the virus thrives include public showers, swimming pools, and gym locker rooms. Once the virus finds a way into your skin, it can take weeks to months for the wart to develop.

Are Warts Contagious?

Warts are contagious and can be easily spread through direct contact with an infected person or a contaminated surface. You can also get warts by walking barefoot in public places like swimming pools or locker rooms, where the virus can thrive. As mentioned earlier, the virus spreads through direct skin contact or by touching an object that has the virus on it. In addition, people with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to contracting warts, such as those with HIV or cancer. Children are also more vulnerable to contracting warts due to their less mature immune systems.

You can reduce your risk of getting warts by avoiding direct contact with infected people or surfaces. If you have warts, you can prevent them from spreading by not picking or scratching them, covering them with a bandage, and washing your hands regularly.

Will Warts Go Away on Their Own?

Some warts can and will go away on their own, especially in children and young adults that have a healthy immune system. Depending on their location and size, warts can take weeks or even years to disappear. However, it’s best not to rely on them going away without treatment as they can spread and multiply over time. It is best to seek medical treatment if your warts are causing discomfort, spreading, or are located on sensitive areas. Warts on the face or genitals, for example, usually require medical attention for removal.

How to Cure Warts

There are various treatments available for warts that range from over-the-counter remedies to medical procedures. Over-the-counter medications, such as salicylic acid or cryotherapy, can be effective for small warts. However, larger or stubborn warts may require surgical removal, laser therapy, or injections with medication. It’s important to note that some treatments can cause scarring and pain. Also, removing a wart doesn’t guarantee that it won’t return, so prevention methods should also be implemented.

Preventative Measures to Avoid Contracting Warts

The best way to avoid warts is to practice good hygiene and avoid skin-to-skin contact with someone who has them. You can also minimize your risk by wearing flip-flops or sandals in public showers and locker rooms, not sharing towels, razors, or footwear with someone who has warts, and refraining from touching someone’s wart directly. Keep in mind that if you already have a wart, you should avoid touching or picking it as it can spread to other areas of your body or to others.

In conclusion, warts are a common skin condition caused by the HPV virus and are contagious. They can be unsightly and uncomfortable, especially when they appear in visible areas of the body. While some warts may go away on their own, it is best to seek medical treatment if you are experiencing discomfort or if they are spreading to other parts of the body.

Remember to practice good hygiene and avoid direct contact with infected people or surfaces to reduce your risk of getting warts.

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