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Medical Concerns Can genital warts spread to other parts of the body?

Genital warts are caused by a virus called the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). The virus gets attached to the human body once it infects the person affected. 

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Your risks of warts play

Your risks of warts


Can Genital Warts Spread To Other Parts Of The Body? It is normal to look for cure desperately when you see genital warts growing on your body.

Warts can still come back even after the initial treatment.  At times, the new ones that develop do so in the same spot as the old ones. They can also come up with a different part of the body entirely.  How do these growths spread from one part of the human body to another?  Is it possible for warts growing on the face to spread to the hands?  Continue reading to find answers to these questions.

How Genital Warts Spread

You need first to know what is responsible for genital warts before bothering about how they spread. Many theories have been developed about the causes of warts.  According to Natures Gist, genital warts can come up fast and also disappear fast. They can also stay on your skin for a very long time before they disappear. 

Warts play




Genital warts have their own schedules unknown to many humans.  This has led to the development of various hypothesis in an attempt to try to understand how they fair.  The forces responsible for warts are, however, beyond human control.  Some people were of the opinion that anyone that develops warts must be a liar.  Some were also of the opinion that developing warts occurs when the individual handled toads.

The scientific point of view

From the perspective of science, genital warts are caused by a virus called the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).  The virus gets attached to the human body once it infects the person affected.  The virus then causes an infection that leads to swelling of the affected tissue, leading to the growth of warts on the skin.

How genital warts are transmitted

The very first piece of information you need to know about warts is that it is caused by a virus called HPV.  One of the highly unique things about this virus is that it has up to 130 different strains or verities. These strains are identified by numbering. Be that as it may, only very few of these variants or strains of HPV can lead to warts

As a result, it is easier to treat warts.  Each of the types that lead to warts does affect particular parts of the human body.  Warts that occur on the human feet are called plantar warts, and they are caused by the Type 1 to 4 of HPV.  The wart occurring on the face is caused by the Flat Warts, and the strains or varieties of HPV responsible for this are the Type 3 and ten strains of HPV.

Facts about HPV

HPV is a parasite. It can only grow inside the human body. Aside from the human body, the virus can also grow in various organisms, like:

  • Animals
  • Plant
  • Bacterium

The existence of virus was not identified until towards the latter part of the 1800s. They are very small organisms. Their existence was however confirmed in the 1930s. In the 1990s, larger viruses were discovered. Various research continued afterward, leading to the discovery of more viruses and the how the viruses function.

How to get infected by HPV?

HPV inhabits the skin surface of the affected individuals.  It is also transmitted from the skin of one person to that of another person. The virus can grow on different types of objects.  Some of the commonest ways to get infected by HPV are highlighted below:

  • Walking barefooted in public facilities or places
  • Having any form of intimacy with someone already infected
  • Sharing personal items of infected individuals, like their clothing
  • Touching the wart on the skin of an infected person
  • When someone touches your own warts
  • When you share grooming items with anyone that is already infected.

From the above, you would have learned that warts can be transmitted from one person to another via contact.  The virus infects humans by introducing its genetic material, DNA, into the cells of the infected person.  You can transfer cells already infected by the HPV to another person if that person scratches or touches your warts.  This process is referred to as autoinoculation.

It is not safe to shave off warts.  This will lead to spreading of warts, and you will end up with clusters of warts growing on your skin.

Warts growing on the hand

Warts are caused by HPV. However, it follows a process of accessing the human skin cells.  After it has landed on your skin via touch, the virus looks for a crack in your skin and enters the skin via this crack. Once the virus enters the crack, it starts to replicate.  The most common type of warts is the one that grows on the fingers and hands.

Warts on the hand play

Warts on the hand



You can use the hand to touch other parts of your body, which can lead to the spread of the growth to these other parts of the body.  Once you begin to see warts on your hands or fingers, you should never hesitate to remove it before it spreads to other parts of your body.

Warts can come up anywhere

The HPV comes in contact with the skin and then invade the human body via cracks as hinted above. They come in contact with the hands, and you can use the infected hand to touch other parts of the body, leading to a spread of HPV.  Once the hand is infected, it is rarely impossible to keep the infection from other parts of the body; this occurs via a process called autoinoculation.

Keep in mind, however, that not all types of growths can be called warts.

Can Genital Warts Spread To Other Parts Of The Body?

Many call genital warts HPV warts.  They grow on genitals, hence their name.

Some of the things that can put you at risk of developing genital warts are:

  • Exposed to unprotected sex
  • Your wife or girlfriend has multiple sexual partners
  • You have multiple girlfriends
  • Start having sex when you were very young.
HPV and Genital warts play

HPV and Genital warts



One of the factors that make it easy for the HPV to enter into human skin is the friction involved between the penis and the vagina.  The friction injures the skin and gets it exposed, giving an opening to the virus.  The virus is responsible for causing genital warts and also leads to warts on other parts of the body.  The virus, aside from occurring on the skin, can also invade the interior of the genitals.

How will you know if the virus has invaded your genitals? You will get the following signs:

  • You will feel pain or difficulty during bowel movement
  • You will feel pain or have difficulty with urinating
  • You will start seeing genital discharge
  • You will experience bleeding or pain after sex.

All these symptoms may occur together in particular individual, or they may occur singly.  When you start seeing any growth on your skin, never hesitate to consult medical professionals to help examine the growths.

How to put an end to the spread of HPV and warts  

It is true that warts can spread through the human body fast, but it is also true that you can curtail this spread by implementing simple steps. The steps are highlighted below:

  • HPV vaccine: The vaccine can be given to individuals at the age of 9 and 26 years. It can help to prevent genital warts and cervical cancer. You can discuss with your healthcare provider for more information about the vaccine.
  • Wash your hands frequently, and this will help to prevent auto inoculation in case you already have warts on your hands
  • Never forget to use condom during sexual intercourse
  • Keep in mind that you cannot rely entirely on a condom to prevent warts. Never forget also to wear protective clothing and gloves when you are outside this will. Help prevent scratches.
  • Do not bite your nails to prevent warts from spreading to your mouth from your hands and fingers.
  • Always cover warts on you with bandaid.
  • Never forget to get your wife or girlfriend along when you are being treated for warts. Maybe she also needs treatment.

The wart can also be removed surgically.  Here are some home remedies you can also apply to get rid of warts. You can buy certain helpful products over the counter also.  Also, you can link up with health care professionals for help.  Keep in mind that removal of the wart does not remove the virus. As a result, warts can grow again later after removal.

Trust in your immune system

Not everyone in the world has warts.  Some people may be exposed to HPV without developing warts.  The virus cannot be cured, but you can keep them from replicating if you have a good immune system.  Your immune system can suppress the virus. As a result, it is possible for warts to go away even if you do not apply any treatment.

You can boost your immune system by doing the following:

  • Reduce the quantity of alcohol you consume
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Get rid of that unwanted weight
  • Never forget to exercise frequently
  • Also, make sure you rest as much as possible

Smoking can damage the immune system, making you less fortified against infections.  Also, smoking can reduce your response to treatment.

You can avoid the infection by going for vaccination. One of the main vaccines for HPV is Gardasil.  It must, however, be given to younger ones long before they are active sexually.  This vaccine only works against genital warts. Work towards boosting your immune system to improve your resistance to HPV infection.

Written by Dr Chiazor Ezugwu.

Sources and references:

Drew, W. L. (2004). Herpesviruses. In K. J. Ryan, & C. G. Ray (Eds.), Sherris medical microbiology: An introduction to infectious diseases (4th ed., pp. 555-576). USA: McGraw Hill.



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