confused about wart theory...

  1. So if warts come from a virus that stays in your body for life, then why do I need a cut in my skin to get one?

  2. Do warts spread more quickly on children? My 3 year-old nephew got a small one on top of his wrist, and I was curious as to whether it would be wiser to ‘nip it in the bud’ or just leave it.

  3. How contagious are warts? I assume it depends on personal susceptibility.

Warts are perhaps the ultimate old wives’ tale subject, leading to confusion.

I haven’t heard a cut in your skin was required to get the wart. They are caused by papilloma virus (HPV), of which there are 30 or 40 types (some cause cervical cancer, other warts). From what I’ve read, your immune system becomes more tuned into them as you get older (which is why you get them less frequently), so yes in answer to one of your questions they probably are more contagious in children since their immune systems may not have encountered that strain of HPV before.