Warts are caused by viruses in the human papillomavirus, or HPV, family. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI), but isn’t solely spread through sexual contact. Rather, these viruses commonly invade your skin through a cut or scrape. Once the virus enters your body, it can cause cells to rapidly grow on the outer layer of skin, ultimately resulting in a skin growth referred to as a wart.
The HPV virus that causes warts is extremely common. In fact, research shows there are over 100 different viruses in the human papillomavirus family. The HPV virus not present any symptoms. Meaning, someone can have the HPV virus in their system, come in contact with you, and end up giving you a wart through that HPV virus. Other times the virus can present symptoms, such as a wart, but resolve spontaneously.
The unpredictable and sometimes undetectable characteristics of the HPV virus contributes to the difficulty of treating warts.