When I was a teenager I had a plantar wart (or plantar’s wart) on my foot. My small town doctor (before the days of ‘General Practitioner’) burned it off with acid. I remember that it was painful, but I was at the age that any medical or dental procedure was painful. What I didn’t know was that a plantar wart is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV.) Yes, the same virus that we think about that has been attributed to incidents of genital cancers, including cervical cancer.
Plantar Wart Caused by HPV, But Not THAT HPV Strain
The good news is that a plantar wart is an infection that is usually considered to be minor and will often resolve with or without treatment. The bad news is that while the HPV vaccine (GARDASIL 9) is effective against nine different strains of genital-related warts, it is not effective against the strains of skin (cutaneous) warts, such as the plantar wart. The great news is that if the plantar wart is not the same strain as the HPV that causes genital warts.
Although a plantar wart can occur at any age, it tends to be a childhood foot issue. Ten percent of children have plantar warts and the most likely age to between 12 and 16. The virus is transmitted from skin surface to skin surface, but at least one source indicated that transmission from another surface, (e.g.; floor) is possible. It is believed that the virus enters the skin through a break in the surface of the skin, such as a cut or sliver.
Still, Vaccinate Against the Other HPV Strains!
Though the HPV vaccine is not effective against the Plantar Wart strain of HPV, it is critical that all children are vaccinated at the appropriate age (between ages 9 and 13) to reduce the risk of female and male genital cancers later in life. The vaccination must occur before the person becomes infected by the virus (i.e.; before she or he becomes sexually active.)
There is a clear link between the strains of HPV that affect the genital areas and cancer. In a study of over 1900 women with cervical cancer, 90% had the signature of the human papillomavirus. Cancer is not a gift you want to give to your children.
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