Aetiology and risk factors

Warts are caused by HPV, of which there are over 70 different types. Viral warts are most common at sites of trauma such as the hands and feet, and lesions probably result from inoculation of virus into minimally damaged areas of epithelium. Plantar warts are often acquired from common bare-foot areas5 and severe hand warts are an occupational risk for butchers and meat handlers.6 Genital warts are also common and are frequently sexually transmitted; they are not discussed in this chapter.

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