Warts are caused by HPV or the human papillomavirus. The HPV stimulates the growth of cells on the skin's outer layer which is what causes warts to grow. Children and young adults are more likely to develop warts, as are people who have weakened immune systems. Usually, warts appear on the hands but they can grow in other areas of the body such as the soles of the feet (plantar warts) or the pubic area/genitals (genital warts). Warts generally don’t pose a threat to your health, but some people find them bothersome or embarrassing and choose to have them removed. If you have genital warts they should be evaluated by a doctor.
In most cases, warts on the skin usually disappear by themselves. However, if left untreated there is a possibility that warts may spread to other areas of the body. Due to the HPV virus, they can also spread to other people through direct contact. Different types of treatment are available for the removal of warts. Your doctor will be able to determine which option will be the best for your individual circumstances. Sometimes warts may recur and one or two treatments may be necessary. Treatments may include freezing with liquid nitrogen, topical or injectable medications, minor surgery, or laser surgery which uses an intense beam of light to destroy the affected tissue.
Try not to touch or pick at a wart to keep it from spreading. Consider covering them with bandages and keep them clean, cool, and dry. If you have genital warts abstain from sexual contact. In order to decrease your chances of getting genital warts, use condoms during sexual activity, have sex with only one partner, and avoid sex with anyone who has visible symptoms.
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