What Causes Human Papillomavirus?

Warts are the causes of an HPV infection. There exist more than 100 types of HPV or human Papillomavirus. Warts on the various parts of your body are from the different kinds of HPV infection. Some varieties of HPV infection causes warts that commonly affect the neck and face while some types are responsible for warts on the feet which are commonly called plantar warts. The genital area is affected by more than 40 various types of HPV infection.

Cancer is not caused by most HPV infections. However, there are some strains of HPV in the genitals that can cause cervical cancer. The cervix is the passageway between the uterus and the vagina. The HPV vaccine will be able to protect and help stop the development of cervical cancer or genital warts that are caused by some types of genital HPV.

Most of the time the immune system of the body fights off an HPV infection before it can develop any warts. If warts make an appearance they may differ in shapes and sizes, depending on what type of HPV:

  • Flat Warts. They are a darker shade than your skin color and are lesions that are slightly raised and flat on the top. Normally scratched areas like the neck and face are their natural habitat. Flat warts that are caused by an HPV infection affect young adults, children, and adolescents.
  • Genital warts. They may be small with protrusions that are stem-like or bumps that are shaped like a cauliflower or lesions that are flat shaped. Genital warts in women are commonly found on the vulva but may also appear in the vagina, near the anus or on the cervix. Genital warts in men can be found around the anus, penis, and scrotum. They may cause itchiness but hardly ever cause pain or discomfort.
  • Plantar warts. They are grainy in texture that is hard to touch which are usually found on hard pressure areas such as the balls or heels of the feet. Their growth may be uncomfortable and painful.
  • Common warts. They are raised bumps that are rough in texture which are usually found on the elbows, hands or fingers. They may cause pain as they bleed and injure easily. Most of the time their appearance is a nuisance.

There are only two specific strains of genital HPV that are the cause of most cervical cancers. Warts are not caused by these two HPV types which are the reason women are usually unaware that they are infected with it. There are also no signs and symptoms for the early phases of cervical cancer.

It is very important that women get Pap tests regularly. Pap tests can detect changes in the cervix that may develop to cancer. It is recommended that women, ages from 21 to 29 get a Pap test every three years, while women, from ages 30 to 65 every five years which has to be accompanied with DNA HPV tests at the same time.

Dealing with HPV

Genital human Papillomavirus or HPV is a very common infection. Sexually active people may have been infected by the HPV virus in one way or another and may not know it.

Symptoms may or may not happen depending on the infection that was involved in the HPV virus type. The types of HPV virus are more than 100. Even if the warts are barely noticeable, genital warts are some of the types of HPV.

Other cancers and cervical cancer are linked to some types of HPV even when there’s no growth of warts. Common warts that can be found on the feet and hands are some of the types of HPV.

No health problems arise even when a lot of people do not treat genital HPV. However, the danger of developing health complications such as anal or cervical cancer becomes a higher risk when the virus stays long in the body.


The skin and the mucous membranes such as the genital area are places that the HPV virus wants to live in. One of the first signs for an HPV infection is genital warts. The Genital warts have several appearances. They can take the form of a cauliflower. Sometimes there will be an appearance of multiple warts; sometimes there will only be one. They can be big or tiny. They can grow on the penis, anus, thigh, cervix, groin, and scrotum.

After weeks or months from an exposure to an HPV infection, genital warts will begin to appear. The infected person you got your HPV infection would not even know that he or she has it.

Cancer of the penis, cervical cancer, cancer of the anus, and cancer of the vulva are connected to other kinds of genital HPV infection.


A doctor seeing a growth of genital warts could form an HPV infection diagnosis. However, warts that are connected to an HPV type may not necessarily be the one that produces cancer. It is another type of HPV causing cancer virus that can cause cancer in women which could get a diagnosis after a Pap test. The Pap test is the diagnostic tool doctors use to find precancerous shifts in the cervix or cervical cancer.

Of all HPV types, it has been noted that 70% of reported cervical cancers come from the 16 and 18 strain.

An HPV test is seldom given to under age 30 women as younger women could, without treatment clear HPV infection from their bodies.

In men, a diagnosis for an HPV infection can be formed when there is the presence of genital warts.

The best time to perform an HPV test on a woman would be in the age bracket of 30 and over. The test helps the doctor and the women find out if she has a low or high risk of getting cervical cancer.

There is also no need for an HPV test to be done to women who are trying to conceive unless her Pap test would register an abnormality. It is now a standard procedure to take a Pap smear during the first prenatal examination.