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Start > Resource centre > Articles > Warts and all Part 1

The wart virus can attack almost anywhere on the body, including the fingers, face, hand and knees, especially where there has been some injury.

Warts on the face have often been transferred from the fingers by scratching. Patients who bite their nails can also get warts around the nail-folds at the side and across the quick.

Warts are infectious and spread by contact with the virus, which gets into tiny breaks in skin.

Everyone is liable to get them but the most vulnerable are young people, which is why most sufferers are still at school.

But adults are still at risk. Even the Romans knew of one type of wart which was spread by sexual contact - genital warts. The papillomavirus causing them has been linked with cancer of the cervix in women, but both partners must be treated. The woman should also continue to have regular smear tests.

The reason we get fewer warts as we get older is because we develop immunity against the wart virus. Once that immunity is acquired, all the warts disappear as if by magic.

Over the years, magic has been used to "cure" them. Wart charming is still practised in some parts of the country and it's easy to see why it is so successful - the wart will go eventually in any case.

Teacher: Michael
Many articles taken from 'A word with the doctor', by Dr. John Windsor.


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