There are about 120 different types of human papillomaviruses (HPV). Human papillomavirus is ubiquitous, meaning that this virus normally, has on the skin, the most of the population, but not everybody gets skin lesions. So we can freely say that HPV is one of the main causes of warts.
As is commonly believed HPV virus is not a new discovery. It dates back in centuries. Infection with this virus is known all around the world. It is believed that this virus, which is usually transmited by unsafe sex, the most common in the United States. Approximately 20 million people have the virus in the United States. Most people who are infected with human paillomavirus is not even aware that it is carrying the virus until the first symptoms do not manifest.
It is believed that about 50 percent of holders of human papillomavirus on the skin, never get warts. Although it is known that HPV cause warts on skin, the mechanism of action of the virus and its specific role are not fully understood. The virus probably enters the skin cells – keratinocytes – through an often imperceptible breach of the surface on the skin, and then that leads to the proliferation of keratinocytes and the appearance of warts.
Virus can be spread by direct contact with infected skin to uninfected, or indirectly because the HPV is resistant to environmental influences. Thus, the risk of infection increases at people who walk barefoot (on swimming pools, in bathrooms, shower cubicles and similar places where the humidity is increased) and those whose skin is drier and more susceptible to cracking.
Some types of viruses have the effect of changing the look of normal cells. It can also lead to cancer in women as well as other changes in the appearance of the genitals or anal cancer in both sexes. These types are described as types with a ‘high risk’ HPV virus.
Some types of human papilloma virus are manifested in the form of genital warts (known as condyloma accuminata) or perianal warts, while some appear as warts on the face, hands and limbs in women and in men. These types are referred to as types of ‘low risk’ HPV virus. In addition, one person can have several types of human papilloma virus simultaneously.
At increased risk are people who sweat a lot, because wet environment is conducive to activity of Human papillomavirus (especially in the folds between the toes or around the nail).