Warts are caused by HPV infections. Therefore, it is HPV that is transmitted. This happens through a number of ways, the most common being through sexual contact. Unprotected sex heightens the risk of a person contracting genital or anal warts. Warts may also be transmitted through oral sex, affecting the mouth and throat of a victim.
Skin-to-skin contact is one further way of possibly getting an HPV, which is why using a condom or other forms of birth control are not guarantees against HPV transmission. Touching a body part that has warts does not mean immediate contamination, but people with cut, scratched or wet skin are more likely to contract an HPV. For example, walking barefoot in public bathing places is one way that HPV can be passed on. Sucking, scratching or biting an infected area, shaving a face or legs that have warts can spread the virus.
A weakened immune system will also make HPV transmission more likely, such as when a person is sick or is still recovering from an illness. Aside from these, contact with other materials that have HPV will bring on an infection. Needles, towels, shoes and other items that people use on their skin are the most probable sources of HPV.
Prevention is better than cure, which is true for all diseases, HPV included. To avoid both contracting and transmitting wart-causing HPVs, it is better not to share intimate articles of clothing like towels or handkerchiefs and items that have come into skin contact like nail cutters or nail files. Avoid touching other people’s warts; wash and disinfect hands thoroughly if they come into contact with a person’s warts. Wear sandals or flip-flops when walking around public swimming pools and communal shower rooms.
For those who do have warts, avoid scratching and biting infected areas, especially fingernails. Cover affected feet with socks, hands with gloves when in public places where touching and walking are unavoidable, and cover warts with waterproof band-aids when swimming. Avoid using the same tools and materials on both healthy and infected body parts, or else the warts will spread. Keep from brushing, combing, clipping or shaving body parts that have warts, as much as possible. If these activities are necessary, try not to nick or cut an area with warts as these may transmit HPV infections.
HPV infections and in turn, the appearance of warts are prevalent. With enough care and caution, more people can be spared the risk of contracting an HPV.