There is no guaranteed way of preventing warts. Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV for short). There are reported to be well in excess of one hundred variations of the virus. The type (or strain) of virus you come in contact with will determine what type of wart you will get. It will also determine (to a degree) where the wart will appear.
Warts will generally disappear without treatment but this can take a long time. Although there are treatments for the actual warts themselves there is no actual cure for the HPV virus therefore no way of actually preventing warts.
The virus is spread by coming into contact with someone who already has warts, or is carrying the HPV virus. The virus can remain dormant for some considerable time so the person infecting you may in fact not have any visible signs that they are in fact carrying the virus. The virus can be spread by direct skin to skin contact. The virus can also be spread by simply coming into contact with an object or surface that has been touched by the carrier.
Preventing Warts from Spreading
One of the best ways of preventing warts from spreading is to cover them so that they have less chance of coming in direct contact with anyone else.
Although there is no foolproof way of preventing warts there are a number of simple steps that you can take to reduce the chances of being infected.
The virus very often enters the body through small cuts or scratches. Adopting a strict personal hygiene regime can be extremely helpful in preventing warts from being spread.
Washing your hands for example following any physical contact with others will help to prevent the likelihood of being infected by HPV. Bear in mind that everyone who carries the virus may not actually have any visible signs that they are carrying the virus.
It is also possible for warts to spread from one part of your own body to another. Again simply following basic hygiene procedures, such as washing your hands regularly, can play a big part in preventing warts from being spread in this way.
Plantar warts (verrucas) generally appear on the feet and can be extremely painful. The virus that causes them flourishes on warm damp surfaces. You can prevent warts being spread in areas such as swimming pool surrounds and locker rooms by making sure you wear flip flops or sandals rather than walking barefoot.
Avoid sharing towels or wearing other peoples’ socks or shoes as this will also help in preventing warts from being spread.
Genital warts are usually spread via sexual activity (not necessarily penetrative) and are usually found around the genital and anal areas of the body. If you have warts on your hands they will not spread to your genital as the viruses that cause these two types of wart are of a completely different type.
Can Warts be Cured?
There are a number of treatments that you can use at home that are effective in removing warts. Home treatment is the best course of action as it is generally easier and less painful than having them removed surgically. Early treatment will also reduce the likelihood of you spreading the virus to anyone else.
All of the available treatments are only designed to treat the existing warts. They are not necessarily going to help in preventing warts to appear again at a later stage.
Read what Bupa has to say about Warts