The main way to prevent
warts is to avoid contact with the
human papillomavirus (HPV) that causes warts. If you
are exposed to this virus, you may or may not develop warts, depending on how
susceptible you are to the virus.
In 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) approved Gardasil (HPV vaccine(What is a PDF document?)). It protects against four types of HPV, which together cause
most cases of cervical cancer and genital warts. Gardasil is recommended for
girls 11 to 12 years old. The immunization is also recommended for females 13
to 26 years old who did not receive it when they were younger. It can be given
to girls as young as 9 years old. Studies show that the vaccine is safe and
works well to help prevent cervical cancer and genital warts.4 For more information, see the topic
Tips on avoiding the human papillomavirus
- Avoid touching warts on yourself or
- Do not share razors, towels, socks, or shoes with another
person. Someone with no visible warts can still be carrying the
- Avoid walking barefoot on warm, moist surfaces where the
wart virus may be alive. Wear shower shoes when using public showers, locker
rooms, or pool areas.
- Keep your feet dry. If your feet sweat
heavily, wear socks that absorb moisture or wick it away from the
- Avoid irritating the soles of your feet. Warts grow more
easily if your skin has been injured or broken in some way.
Tips on preventing warts from spreading
- Keep warts covered with a bandage or athletic
- Do not bite your nails or cuticles, as this may spread warts
from one finger to another.
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