Is the virus that causes warts on your feet the same as HPV?

by Rachel on June 30, 2011

And if not what is the name of the virus for hand/foot warts?
Okay, NOT asking about genital herpes. I’m asking about planter warts. Are they the same virus or not? I don’t want a stupid article about HPV that doesn’t asnwer my question.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole H June 30, 2011 at 6:43 am

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This topic provides information about genital warts, which are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). If you are looking for information about cervical cell changes or cervical cancer caused by HPV, see the topics Abnormal Pap Test or Cervical Cancer.

What are genital warts?
Genital warts are skin growths in the groin, genital, or anal areas. They can be different sizes and shapes. Some look like flat white patches, and others are bumpy, like tiny bunches of cauliflower. Sometimes you can’t see the warts at all.

Genital warts are spread by skin-to-skin contact. The virus is usually spread through sexual activity. Genital warts are a common sexually transmitted disease (STD).

What causes genital warts?
Genital warts are caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV. Some types of HPV cause genital warts. But these are not the same types of HPV that cause abnormal cervical cell changes and cervical cancer.

You are more likely to get genital warts if you:

Do not use condoms every time you have sex or genital contact.
Have more than one sex partner or have a high-risk partner(s) who has had multiple sex partners or HPV-infected sex partners.
Start sexual activity before age 18.
Have an impaired immune system that makes it hard for your body to fight infection.
What are the symptoms?
Most people infected with the virus that causes genital warts don’t have symptoms. But if they do, the symptoms may be so mild that they may not know they are infected. The symptoms may include pain, itching, and bleeding.

If you have symptoms, they will probably occur 2 to 3 months after infection. But you can have symptoms from 3 weeks to many years after infection.

Visible genital warts appear only during active infection. But it is possible to spread the virus even if you can’t see the warts.

How are genital warts diagnosed?
A doctor can often tell if you have genital warts by looking closely at your genital and anal areas. He or she may ask you questions about your symptoms and your risk factors. Risk factors are things that make you more likely to get a disease.

Sometimes the doctor takes a sample of tissue from the wart for testing.

How are they treated?
Talk to your doctor about whether you should treat genital warts. They usually go away with no treatment, but they may also spread. Most people decide to treat them because of the symptoms or how the warts look. But if you don’t have symptoms and are not worried about how the warts look, you can wait and see if the warts go away.

If you do decide to treat genital warts, talk to your doctor about the best treatment for you. There are prescription medicines you or your doctor can put on the warts. Or your doctor can remove them with lasers, surgery, or by freezing them off.

Even if you treat visible warts or your warts go away without treatment, the HPV infection can stay in your body’s cells. It is possible to spread genital warts to your partner even if you have no signs of them.

Finding out that you have genital warts may make you feel bad about yourself or about sex. Counseling or a support group may help you feel better.

Can genital warts be prevented?
The best way to keep from getting genital warts—or any other STD—is to not have sex. If you do have sex, practice safe sex.

Before you start a sexual relationship, talk with your partner about STDs. Find out whether he or she is at risk for them. Remember that a person can be infected without knowing it.
If you have symptoms of an STD, don’t have sex.
Do not have sex with anyone who has symptoms or who may have been exposed to an STD.
Do not have more than one sex partner at a time. Having several sex partners increases your risk for disease.
Use condoms. Condoms may help reduce the risk of spreading genital warts, but they do not protect the entire genital area against skin-to-skin contact.
A new vaccine called Gardasil protects against four types of HPV, which together cause most cases of cervical cancer and genital warts. You get three shots over 6 months. The vaccine is recommended for girls 11 to 12 years old. It is also recommended for females 13 to 26 years old who did not get it when they were younger.

Frequently Asked Questions
Learning about genital warts:
What are genital warts?
What causes genital warts?
What are the symptoms of genital warts?
What increases my risk of getting genital warts?
Who is affected by genital warts?
What else could be causing my symptoms?
When do I need to see my doctor?

Being diagnosed:
Can I see genital warts?
How are genital warts diagnosed?
What tests will I need?

Getting treatment:
What treatment will I need?
Do I need treatment for cervical cell changes caused by HPV?
Do I need to take medicines?
Will I need surgery?
Is treatment different if I am pregnant?
Will treatment cure genital warts?
What is the best treatment for genital warts?

Ongoing concerns:
Can I prevent genital warts?
Will genital warts come back?
Should I get the vaccine to prevent genital warts?
Should my daughter get the vaccine to prevent genital warts?

Living with genital warts:
Will I always have genital warts?
How will my sexual relationships be affected?
How will I feel about having genital warts?

Author: Robin Parks, MS Medical Review: Joy Melnikow, MD, MPH – Family Medicine
Jeanne Marrazzo, MD, MPH – Infectious Disease
Last Updated: 08/17/2006
© 1995-2007, Healthwise, Incorporated, P.O. Box 1989, Boise, ID 83701. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information. For more information, click here. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed.

Additional Information
Genital Warts (Human Papillomavirus) – CauseGenital Warts (Human Papillomavirus) – What Happens
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curious June 30, 2011 at 6:52 am

OK, this is yes and no. Virus is the same – HPV. But…HPV virus has many types. Different types more likely to attack different areas. Different tissues in our body are more predisposed to react to different HPV types. About 30 types are attacking genital area.

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