What Is the Cause of Warts?
Some people think that you’ll get warts if you touch toads. But you won’t. Ordinary warts are caused by germs called viruses. The infected skin thickens and forms a horny growth. Warts can grow anywhere on the skin, and can even appear on the soles of the feet. Warts usually do not hurt or do any harm.
If a wart is scratched open, the wart virus may spread by contact to another part of the body or to another person. Because warts sometime go away by themselves, there are many superstitious beliefs that they can be charmed away by magic spells.
Scientists have identified more than 100 unique types of virus and most people will have at least one common wart at sometime in their lives, usually on their hands.
Certain forms of the virus are more likely to cause skin warts on the hands. Other forms of HPV are more likely to cause genital warts, although some strains of the virus can cause both.
If you have any type of skin wart, it means that you came in contact with a wart-causing virus sometime in the past, though it could have been months ago.
The most common way is direct skin-to-skin contact, such as shaking hands with someone who has warts on their hand. You can also get the virus from inanimate objects, like towels that have been used by someone with a wart.
The viruses are more likely to cause warts when they come in contact with skin that is damaged or cut. Getting a small scrape or biting fingernails may bring on wart. Similarly, cuts and nicks from shaving can provide an avenue for infection. This explains why men may have warts in the beard area, while women often have them appear on the legs.