What are Warts?
Warts can appear in different parts of our bodies and also in different sizes and shapes. The appearance differs depending on the type of wart you have so they can be flat and with a soft surface or lump with a harsh surface. It is easy to recognize plantar and common warts since they have a small dot on the top of a wart. This dot is actually a blood vessel, which is aimed at supplying a wart with blood. Even though they might appear on any part of the body in most cases they show up on feet, hands and fingers.
The one good thing about warts is that they usually don’t cause any pain or discomfort. This is however not the case with plantar warts, which appear on the back of the foot. Due to constant pressure these types of warts cause pain and in severe cases it can even become quite difficult to walk. Also warts that appear on your fingers can cause a slight discomfort when you touch surrounding items. In rare cases warts can cause itchiness and bleeding. When people tend to scratch warts they might get infected and as a result warts become red in color and hot. So it is very important to abstain from picking and scratching them to avoid further complications.
It is important not to confuse warts with moles, since they are not the same thing. The main difference between these two is that warts are smaller in size and they appear in the same color as your skin. On the contrary moles can get quite big in size and also they are usually in a darker color than your skin.
The Main Cause of Warts.
All types of warts are caused by different kinds of Human Papilloma Virus. This virus infects the first layer of the skin (keratin), which starts to grow rapidly and then forms a wart. In most cases the HPV enters the skin in areas of broken skin; however it is even possible to get this virus without any broken spots on the skin. For instance you can even get this virus when you get in the contact with some rough surfaces or when your skin is wet. For this reason it is recommended to always wear slippers while walking in public swimming pools.
Are Warts Contagious?
Yes, warts are contagious and they can be passed to other people or even spread to other parts of your own body. You can pass this virus to other person by sharing personal hygiene items such as razors, towels and etc. Furthermore it can be passed to other people by direct skin to skin contact; however it is important to mention that it needs to be a very close contact. The chances of passing this virus increase highly when the other person has some cuts or damaged spots on the skin. Since usually warts take quite a lot of time to properly grow and develop the other person can notice that he or she got this virus only after a few months. Due to this it is usually quite difficult to know where you might have gotten this virus from. As it was mentioned before warts can be spread from one part of your body to the other too. Usually this happens when you tend to scratch or bite warts and then touch other parts of your body without washing your hands.
Genital warts caused by HPV are also considered to be highly contagious. HPV can be passed to a sex partner during anal, vaginal and even oral sex. Quite commonly an infected partner might not have any signs or symptoms of this virus and further spread it to other partners. The other thing to know is that warts on genital area can appear months or even years after a person was infected with this virus or they might not appear at all.
It is thought that immune system plays a major role on how susceptible you are to HPV. For instance if you have a strong immune system and you come into contact with HPV your are less likely to get this virus and vice versa. Additionally when you have a week immune system there is a higher chance that warts will spread to other parts of your body too.