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Common warts are caused by several variations of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and are small benign fleshy growths on the skin usually light grey, pink or brown in colour. The virus accelerates extra cell growth which then causes the outer layer of skin to harden and thicken in that area. It is easier for broken, cut or damaged skin to become infected, so these conditions should always be cleaned as soon as possible. Most people will get warts at some point in their life, and they affect around 10% of the population with the incidence of infection being higher (10% to 20%) in children. Common warts are contagious and can be found on any part of the body (though more often on the knees, elbows, fingers and hands). They can be spread through direct contact (skin to skin) and indirect contact (using someone else’s towel or razor). So, avoiding these types of skin contact is good skin hygiene practice. As they are commonplace - a popular question which naturally arises is how to remove a wart.

Plantar warts are flattened growths which occur under the foot usually on the sole of the foot. These can be painful and may need to be removed by a doctor as they can penetrate deep into the foot.

Most warts are a minor inconvenience and not a serious, life-threatening condition but they may cause some discomfort or embarrassment as they can be unsightly and can linger for up to 2 years at a time, so most people do look for wart treatment or wart removal remedies to treat them rather than waiting for them to fall off which may take a year or two. Severe cases can last longer. Warts can also return and there is no sure way to prevent them, so avoiding contact with someone else’s warts and good skin hygiene are important aspects to consider. Wear flop flops or waterproof sandals in public swimming pools, showers and change rooms to reduce the risk of infection in the feet.

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