Plantar Warts & Human Papillomaviruses (HPV): Serious Issue

Plantar warts are caused by a strain of the human papillomaviruses (HPV). There are more than one hundred different strains of the human papillomaviruses, most of which cause benign moles. Of these strains, approximately 30 strains have been known to cause cancer in men and women.

The strains that are known to cause cancer are contracted by sexual contact and are different from strains which cause the problem. The sexually transmitted strains of HPV affect the genitals and anus with warts.

The strain of HPV thrives in warm, moist environments. As such, pools, showers, and other similar areas are common places where it initially infects individuals.

Wearing some form of footwear in such environments in an excellent way to deter the virus from spreading.

How Plantar Warts are Contracted

It can spread by blood, contact with the skin in the wart on or off the body. Viruses are non-living; as such, they can reside in the dead skin without any difficulty until an unfortunate host is found. It commonly occurs on pressure points in the feet because these areas on the foot are in contact with the ground the most. If any small cuts or abrasions are in these areas of the foot, HPV can enter and eventually cause the problem.

HPV has a dormancy period when it first infects an individual. It may not develop for several months or years after the virus is initially contracted. During this time, the virus guilty can spread to other individuals. For this reason, HPV is a highly communicable virus.

Different Immune System Reactions to Plantar Warts

Every individual’s immune system can have varying reactions to the strain of HPV accountable for it. Some individuals will not develop warts while other individuals will develop warts. The various antibodies that exist in a person’s body depend on whether or not the virus can be destroyed.

There are three factors that can put you at an increased risk of contracting the strain of HPV. These three factors include:

  • Damage on the skin, i.e. cuts, bruises, lesions, etc.
  • Being exposed the strain of HPV
  • Having a weakened immune system as a result of some health malady

If any of the following three conditions apply to you, make sure you take extra precaution whenever your feet are exposed in a public area. Prevention is the best way to ensure that HPV does not have a chance to attack you and invade your body. Additionally, teenagers and children are more at risk to develop the problem for these reasons. Ensuring extra precautions are in place when your kids visit public areas barefoot can help stop the spread of plantar warts as well.

Dr. Shoeta

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