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Viral warts are benign papillomas caused by infection of the keratinocytes by human papilloma viruses (1).
- prevalence in the general population is estimated to be between 7-12% (2)
- commonly seen in childhood, but can occur at any age
- small cohort observational studies have suggested that 5–30% of children and young adults have warts (1)
HPV is usually transmitted by direct skin-to-skin contact. Indirect transmission via contact with contaminated surfaces also may occur. Incubation period may last from 1 month to 2 years (3).
Risk factors include:
- close contact with affected people
- damaged epithelial barrier e.g. -
- plantar warts transmitted from swimming pools due to the rough surfaces abrading the skin of the feet
- nail biting - periungual warts
- shaving – spreads warts over the beard area
- along the sites of trauma – warts may develop in these sites, known as the Koebner phenomenon (2,3).
If the immune system is compromised they can present major problems to cure.
Last edited 11/2018