There are over 100 strands of the human papillomavirus, or HPV, but only a few strands cause warts. So far, studies have shown that every individual reacts differently to HPV, meaning it does not cause warts in everyone. For the unlucky ones who are susceptible the virus, certain measures can prevent warts from forming or spreading.
1. Keep Skin Dry and Clean
For a wart to form, the HPV virus needs a point of entry, which can be cracks in dry skin, wet or soft skin, or a cut. People prone to the virus should keep their skin, especially their feet, dry and clean. Public showers or pools are hot spots for the virus, so always wear shower shoes and keep feet dry. Water wicking or thick socks can help keep sweaty feet dry and clean, reducing the possibility of contraction.
2. No Sharing!
Razors, washcloths, clippers, and other grooming tools can spread an outbreak to more areas of the body and other people. Those prone to HPV must make sure personal care products remain uncontaminated. Someone with visible warts can spread the virus, so do not share hygiene products or towels with them. If a beauty or hygiene product has come into contact with the virus, either replace or sanitize it.
3. Cover It Up
If a wart does form, the best treatment is to cover the area with a bandage until it disappears. Also, never pick or try to pop the blemish, as it may cause the outbreak to spread rapidly. Instead, it’s better to practice “out of sight, out of mind” and cover up the growth. If the wart does spread, see your dermatologist for a variety of treatment options.
Practicing good hygiene is a helpful method for prevention and recovery, and good habits can go a long way in curing an outbreak.