Warts are skin growths affecting the top layer of skin. They may appear on various parts of the body including the hands, arms, legs, feet, face or even under the fingernails or toenails. They may differ in appearance depending on what type of wart it is and on what location of the body it is growing.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Warts are actually caused by the some types of human papillomavirus, or HPV. With over 100 different types of HPV, the virus affecting one individual may differ from the one affecting another. HPV affects the top layer of skin, causing it to grow rapidly, forming a wart.

Spreading HPV and Warts

An individual who has a wart may actually spread the virus from one part of the body to another simply by contacting another part of the body with the wart. If the HPV infects another part of the body, a wart may form. This is also true if the individual spreads HPV to another individual by sharing towels, shoes, etc.

The virus tends to like warm, wet areas like showers and locker rooms, so taking special precautions in these areas is important in avoiding the virus. Some patients are more likely to get warts than others and it is unlikely that patients get warts every time they come into contact with HPV.

Genital warts are a sexually transmitted disease and patients who experience the condition should speak with their doctor for more information. Like other types of warts, they are also caused by HPV and are contagious.