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Warts - Causes

The human papillomavirus is the primary culprit in the development of warts. There are more than 100 types of the human papillomavirus, and most of them can cause warts on the skin. Some types of the human papillomavirus cause genital warts, which may be associated with cervical cancer in women.

The virus spreads through direct contact, and that is why warts spread from person to person as well as from one body part to another in the same person. The virus finds its way into the body through skin that is moist, cracked or peeling. A site of recent injury is another common entry-point for the virus. Once the virus enters the body, the incubation period begins (during which the virus remains dormant), which can most often range from one to eight months. After this period, the warts begin to appear.

Virus that has been shed recently remains alive in a warm, moist environment such as cellars, locker rooms, etc. There are numerous ways in which the virus can spread, and these include:

  • From one part of the body to another (in the same individual)
  • Direct contact with someone else's wart
  • Contact with a towel or some other object used by someone who has a wart
  • Genital contact - vaginal/anal/oral sex (for genital warts)

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