Warts: Who gets and causes

Who gets warts?

Anyone can get warts. Some people are more prone to getting a wart virus (HPV) than others. These people are:

  • Children and teens.
  • People who bite their nails or pick at hangnails.
  • People with a weakened immune system (the body’s defense system).
In children, warts often go away without treatment. A dermatologist should treat warts that hurt, bother the child, or quickly multiply.

What causes warts?

Viruses called human papillomavirus (HPV) cause warts. It is easier to catch a virus that causes warts when you have a cut or scrape on your skin. This explains why so many children get warts. Warts also are more common on parts of the body that people shave such as the beard area in men and the legs in women. You can spread warts from one place on your body to another.

Warts can spread from person to person. You can get warts from touching a wart on someone’s body. Some people get a wart after touching something that another person’s wart touched, such as a towel. It often takes a few months for warts to grow large enough to see.

Learn more about warts:

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