HPV Causes Warts

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Not only does HPV cause cervical and anal cancer, it's also the cause of the common wart. Everyone is exposed to HPV but some people are more likely to get warts than others.

There are more than 100 different strains, and each strains prefers to grow on different parts of the skin. For example, HPV 1, 2 and 4 grow on the hands (palmar warts) or the feet (plantar warts). Genital warts are caused by HPV 6 and 11. These strains of HPV that cause warts are distinct from the strains associated with cervical and anal cancer, which are called "oncogenic HPV."

Doctors aren’t sure why but they believe that certain individuals have immune systems that are more able to fight off the viruses and prevent warts from growing.

For example, children get skin warts much more often than adults. This is probably because their immune systems have not yet built a strong defense against the numerous strains of human papillomavirus that they will encounter over their lifetimes.

Also, just as some people are more likely to get poison ivy, the genetic makeups and immune systems of certain individuals make them more susceptible to the viruses that cause skin warts.