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How Do People Get Warts

How do people get warts on their finger, feet or anywhere else? It's a question that has puzzled many, as these small, rough growths seem to appear out of nowhere, often causing inconvenience and discomfort. Has this been a problem for you or anyone you know? 

Let's look further into the fascinating world of warts and why they occur and let’s uncover all the truths behind why they occur.

Causes of Warts

Warts are a common dermatological nuisance that can manifest on various parts of the body, including the fingers, hands, feet, and although less common even the face.

  • Warts are primarily caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a diverse group of viruses that infect the top layer of the skin, resulting in the formation of unsightly growths.
  • HPV can be transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected individual or by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus.
  • Individuals with breaks or cuts in their skin are more susceptible to HPV infection, as these provide entry points for the virus to invade and cause wart formation.
  • Certain medical conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis, can also increase the risk of developing warts by compromising the skin's barrier function.
  • The likelihood to develop warts can vary from person to person.

5 Types of Warts

Understanding the types of warts is crucial in comprehending how people get them. There are several variations, each with its distinct characteristics. Knowing the types of warts can aid in identifying and managing them effectively.

  1. Common warts, characterized by rough, cauliflower-like bumps, often appear on the fingers and hands and these can be very painful especially when bumped or grazed.
  2. Plantar warts, found on the soles of the feet, can cause discomfort and pain, especially when walking.
  3. Flat warts are smoother and smaller in comparison, typically appearing on the face, legs, and other parts of the body.
  4. Filiform warts, distinguished by their long, narrow projections, commonly occur around the eyes, mouth, and neck.
  5. Periungual warts develop around the nails and may cause pain or nail deformities.

What Are Factors Contributing to Wart Formation

While HPV is the primary culprit, certain factors can increase the likelihood of developing warts.

  • Individuals with weakened immune systems, whether due to illness, stress, or certain medications, may be more prone to developing warts.
  • Genetic predisposition can also play a role, as some people inherit a susceptibility to HPV infection and wart formation.
  • Environmental factors, such as frequent exposure to moist environments like swimming pools or communal showers.
  • Genetic predisposition can also play a role, as some people inherit a susceptibility to HPV infection and wart formation.
  • Poor hygiene practices, including inadequate handwashing or failure to clean and disinfect shared surfaces.
  • Age can also influence wart formation, with children and adolescents being more susceptible due to a less mature immune system and increased likelihood of skin-to-skin contact during play and social interactions.
  • Hormonal changes, particularly during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause, can alter the skin's composition and increase susceptibility to HPV infection.

Wart Removal Remedies

Now that we've uncovered how people get warts let's take a look at some common wart removal remedies. While warts often disappear on their own over time, many individuals seek treatment to expedite the process and alleviate discomfort and pain associated with them.

Exploring wart removal remedies includes both conventional and alternative treatment options.

  • Over-the-counter topical treatments containing salicylic acid are commonly used to treat warts by gradually breaking down the affected tissue.
  • Cryotherapy, which involves freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen, is another effective treatment option for removing warts.
  • Surgical procedures such as excision or laser therapy may be recommended for stubborn warts that do not respond to other treatments.
  • Natural remedies, including tea tree oil, garlic, and duct tape, are also popular alternatives for wart removal.
  • Immunotherapy, involving the use of medications to stimulate the immune system's response to HPV, is another treatment option for stubborn or recurrent warts.
  • In some cases, combination therapies, such as using salicylic acid in conjunction with cryotherapy, may enhance treatment outcomes and reduce the likelihood of wart recurrence.

3 Common Myths about Warts

  1. Warts are contagious only when they're visible: While it's true that warts are most contagious when they're actively growing and visible on the skin, the virus (HPV) can still be present and contagious even if the wart isn't visible. This means that individuals with invisible or dormant warts can still transmit the virus to others through skin-to-skin contact.
  2. Warts only appear on hands and feet: While common warts are often found on the hands and feet, warts can actually manifest on any part of the body. They can appear on the face, legs, arms, genitals, and even inside the mouth.
  3. Warts have roots that need to be pulled out: Warts do not have roots like plants do. They grow outward from the skin's surface, fed by blood vessels in the underlying tissue. Attempts to "dig out" or remove supposed "roots" can lead to pain, scarring, and infection.

In summary, understanding how people get warts sheds some light on the mechanisms behind how they occur. From the role of HPV to the various types of warts and potential treatment options, there is so much to learn about these common dermatological growths.

While they can be a nuisance and painful, they are typically harmless and can be effectively managed with proper care and treatment. 

So the next time you encounter a wart, you are now armed with special knowledge to help you be more confident about taking them on head-on.

Leo A Eliades, a qualified medical scientist, is passionate about natural health and education. As the founder of BoostCeuticals since 2012, he's an authority on clean label, pure, natural and vegan supplements, empowering individuals to feel better every day. Explore insights at


Topical treatments for cutaneous warts

UptoDate - Cutaneous Warts: Common, Plantar, and Flat Warts

American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) - Warts Overview

BoostCeuticals - Your Trusted Partner in Health and Wellness

This blog post is proudly presented by BoostCeuticals, your trusted source for clean label vegan supplements that promote pure and natural wellness. BoostCeuticals take pride in providing meticulously crafted, silica and stearate-free supplements without any potentially harmful additives to boost your well-being. Explore their products for your unique health journey.

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