Warts - Description

Warts occur most commonly among children, young adults, and women. They are a problem for 7 to 10 percent of the population. Warts are caused by nearly sixty different kinds of HPV. Each type prefers a certain part of the body. For example, some types of HPV produce warts on the skin, others cause warts inside the mouth, and still others produce warts on the genital and rectal areas.

Viruses enter the body through the skin or mucous membrane. They usually do not produce symptoms for one to eight months after entering the body. When warts appear, they are usually skin-colored and feel rough to the touch, but they can also be dark, flat, and smooth.

People differ in their sensitivity to HPV. Some individuals get warts over and over again. Others seldom or never get them. The virus is able to penetrate the body more easily if the skin has been damaged. For example, children who bite their nails may damage their skin in the process, which makes it easier for the virus to enter the body and cause warts. People with weakened immune systems are especially sensitive to HPV and wart infections.

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