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TMCNet:  June is Wart Awareness Month

[May 21, 2014]

June is Wart Awareness Month

CHICAGO --(Business Wire)--

Summer is peak season for the spread of warts (verrucae). The National Verruca Foundation (NVF) is designating June as Wart Awareness Month in order to raise awareness of warts as summer begins. This month-long observance provides individuals, doctors, and community-based organizations an excellent opportunity to address ways to prevent the millions of cases of non-genital warts that appear each year in the United States.

Warts can be more than a nuisance; they are highly contagious, embarrassing, and can be painful when they appear on pressure points of the body such as the bottom of the feet or on the hands. Plantar (foot) warts affect about 4.5% of the population.1

Children are at the highest risk of getting warts with as many as 22% of children contracting them sometime during their childhood.1 People with weakened or less-mature immune systems are more prone to warts. There is no vaccine for common and plantar warts but avoiding them is possible for many people.

"With education, many people can avoid the potetial pain and embarrassment of warts," said dermatologist Alan E. Lasser, M.D., Executive Director of the NVF. "We're pleased to help increase awareness throughout June, before the peak season begins."

The virus that causes warts is the human papillomavirus (HPV) which is easily transmitted between people and from some objects. The following tips may help you stay wart free:

  • Wash hands well and often.
  • Don't share towels. The wart virus can be transmitted by objects.
  • Wear flip flops or other shoes around public locker rooms, showers, and pool decks.
  • Keep skin healthy and free of cuts. Scratches and cuts can make any area of the skin more vulnerable to the wart virus.
  • Cover cuts and scrapes.
  • Avoid biting nails or picking at hang-nails.

Learning resources for clinicians, individuals, and community members about warts are available at www.WartSmart.org.

1. Silverberg NB. Human papillomavirus infections in children. Curr Opin Pediatr. 2004;16:402-409.

About the National Verruca Foundation

The National Verruca Foundation was established to provide accurate information and increase awareness of non-genital warts. Through education and advocacy, we hope to improve the management and prevention of the human papillomavirus (HPV).

About Warts

Warts are small, benign (noncancerous) growths on the skin that look like solid blisters or small cauliflowers. They are caused by a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). The virus causes keratin, which is a hard protein on the top layer of the skin, to grow too fast. Warts may grow anywhere on the skin, but the most common locations are the hands and feet.


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