Warts are an ongoing problem for many people of all ages. They can go beyond being just a minor annoyance, sometimes resulting in much more serious health implications. Warts can be spread to other people, causing them to become infected with the virus. And some types of warts can be deadly. Taking all of these factors into consideration, it is a good idea to know what causes warts and methods you can take to minimize your risk of getting them. If you have already acquired warts, it is equally important if not more so, to lessen the chance of transmitting them to other people. The best precaution you can take is to be armed with the facts.
Warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus. So far, more than eighty different kinds of this virus have been identified. The various forms affect various parts of the body. The incubation period between when a person becomes infected and when an outbreak occurs also varies. The warts are easily transmittable from one person to another, and can also be transmitted from one part of the body to another area. Factors which determine a person's likelihood of becoming infected include the state of the person's immune system, the degree of virus that is present in the warts, the location of the warts, and the degree of contact.
Although it is often difficult or even impossible to prevent infection, there are some measures you can take to lessen this risk. If you already have one or more warts, it is important to prevent them from spreading. You should try to avoid touching the wart, for it can lead to the virus being spread to other areas you may touch afterward. You should avoid using other people's towels and washcloths if they have not been cleaned. You should avoid wearing other people's shoes. In locations where the virus might be present, you should make a point of wearing shoes to prevent indirect contact with infected surfaces. These factors will greatly reduce your risk of acquiring the virus associated with all forms of warts.
In addition, there are special factors associated with genital warts, which are the most serious and potentially deadly. These warts, which are a prime factor in cervical cancer, are spread by sexual contact. The risk of these warts and the cancer which results from them is highest in people who have multiple sexual partners. Although it is not as widely known as it should be, while having multiple partners increases the risk of coming in contact with a person who already has this infection, it has also been shown that having multiple partners alters one's own natural levels of bacteria and will make you more susceptible to the virus. Not having multiple sexual partners is the most sound way to lessen your risk of acquiring genital warts. Those who already have them can also spread them by touch or by sharing infected washcloths and towels.
Currently, there are issues about a vaccine called Gardasil. This vaccine is proported to protect against four of the strains of Human Papilloma Virus which account for ninety percent of genital warts. Although this vaccine is not far beyond the testing stage, making the risk factors of the vaccine itself debatable, some locations are recommending it for young children. Some states are attempting to mandate this vaccine for little girls. In addition to the fact that the risk factors of the vaccine have not yet been adequately tested, the main issue being debated is whether giving elementary-school-aged children a vaccine to prevent a sexually-transmitted disease will lead many children and adolescents to believe it is okay to become sexually active and engage in a promiscuous lifestyle.