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How can stress cause warts?

Warts (Verrucae), together with herpes, are among the most common viral diseases worldwide. Especially children always suffer from the unpleasant skin growths, which are not only unsightly, but also cause an unpleasant feeling on the skin. The wart removal is often a challenge because the blood infected with warts viruses immediately causes a new contagion on contact with the skin surface. Find out in this post how warts develop, which types of warts there are and how a wart can be successfully removed.

Origin of Verrucae

In warts in particular, the responsible viruses are transmitted mainly by smear infections. Finally, skin lesions or mucous membranes that are freely accessible through body openings penetrate the pathogen into the skin tissue and trigger cell proliferation, which transforms the affected area of ​​the skin into a rough and scaly wart tissue. Depending on the type of wart, their size and appearance can be very different. The location of the warts on the body varies from species to species. The most common types of warts include:Warts have their origins in a viral infection caused by smallpox or papilloma viruses.

In particular, papillomaviruses, more specifically, human papillomaviruses (HPV) lead in humans to a plethora of different warts, with the viruses in addition to warts and malignant tumor growths (eg cervical cancer or penile cancers) can trigger. It is interesting that these tumor types develop preferentially in the genital area and the genitals. The reason for this, as well as for the development of numerous warts, is the fact that human papillomaviruses, in addition to the skin, mainly colonize mucosal tissue, which is known to be particularly pronounced in the genital area and genitalia.

  • Molluscum contagiosum (Molluscum contagiosum) – Pool warts or mollusc warts are caused by the molluscum contagiosum virus, or MCV, which belongs to the poxvirus family. Based on the pathogen, mollusc warts are therefore also known as mollusks. These are smooth nodules with a shiny surface, reaching the size of a pinhead or pea. The name “mollusc warts” is due to the fact that warts of this species usually have a dent in their midst. Mollusc warts are most common on the arms, hands, fingers or upper body.


  • Genital warts / genital warts (Condylomata acuminata) – A type of warts that belongs to the sexually transmitted diseases. It is caused by the papillomaviruses HPV 6, 11, 16 and 18, HPV 16 and 18 are also known as the trigger of cervical cancer. Characteristic of genital warts is that they form flattened, whitish to flesh-colored nodules on the genitals or in the anal area. Since their virus pathogens prefer to settle in the mucous membranes of the genital area, genital warts are also referred to as dampening.


  • Flat warts / flat warts (Verrucae planae) – Triggered by the papillomavirus HPV 3 and 10, flat warts are characterized as the name implies by a very flat and soft surface. This may be roundish or polygonal and usually has a skin-colored, greyish-yellow or slightly brown coloration with a dull or finely spotted pattern. A size of 1 to 5 mm rarely exceed flat warts. Verrucae planae can occur on the whole body, whereby the face, the outside of the forearms, wrists as well as hand and finger back are relatively often affected. With regard to the accumulation of warts in childhood, the following subtype of flat warts should be mentioned here:
    • Juvenile flat warts (Verrucae planae juvenilis) – Juvenile flat warts are a special form of flat warts. They occur during and after puberty only in children and adolescents. Unlike ordinary flat warts, Verrucae planae juvenilis manifest next to the face and back of the hand, especially on the tibia.


  • Plantar warts / plantar warts (Verrucae plantares) – These warts are triggered by the HPV 1, 2, 4, 57, 60, 63, 65, 66 and 156 papillomaviruses. They develop on the sole of the foot and can take various forms:
    • Plantar warts – These solitary warts grow deep into the foot tissue on the toe underside and the pressure-loaded sections of the sole of the foot. Particularly deep adhesions form plantar warts on the heel. The deep penetrating wart tissue is covered by a yellowish-white horn callus. Under pressure pressure, plantar warts can cause severe pain.
    • Mosaic warts – These pinhead-sized, mosaic warts with whitish coloration grow initially isolated on the soles and toe pads, can later but beetartig spread over the entire front foot. Unlike plantar warts, mosaic warts are painless even after further spread.


  • Brush warts (verrucae filliformes) – The trigger of brush warts are papillomaviruses of various kinds. In this way, verrucae filiformes manifest as threadlike skin growths that often appear like small crumbs. Very often, the warts on the eyelid, chin, neck or on the lips. They have a white to pink color, their top is usually brownish discolored.


  • senile warts / old-age warts (verrucae seborrhoicae) – Although the name suggests otherwise, senile warts, also known as senile warts, are not warts in the true sense. Viral infections are also of no importance here, as verrucae seborrhoicae are benign neoplasms that originate from age-related keratoses of the epidermal basal layer. Age warts owe their name to the fact that they arise mainly from the age of 50 years. The skin growths may be roundish or oval and lentil to bean-sized and assume a light brown to black-brown color.


  • Vulgar warts / spiny warts (Verrucae vulgares) – Spiny warts are the most common type of warts at 70 percent and are triggered by HPV 1, 2, 4 and 7 papillomaviruses. The bulging, pinhead-to-pea-sized nodules are initially smooth, but later in the corn later mutate into cauliflower-like growths. It is typical for spiked warts that they form several nipples. Their preferred places of origin are hands, fingers, nail edges and soles. There is an important subspecies of Verrucae vulgares:
    • Meat warts – These spiked warts are especially found on the hands of butchers. They are caused by the papillomavirus HPV 7 and are due to a permanent contact with fresh meat in existing skin injuries.

Causes of warts

To a smear infection can come in warts in different ways. As already mentioned, the virus exciters penetrate the dermal or mucosal tissue preferably via skin injuries or body orifices. Conceivable are different scenarios:

  • Badly cleansed or uncovered wounds: Wart pathogens most commonly enter the body via cuts, spots or abrasions. The wounds were previously usually not kept sufficiently sterile or connected only makeshift. A good example here is the meatballs at butchers. The sub-form of the spiny warts can only arise when a butcher has an open, uncovered skin wound on the hand when it comes into contact with meat, through which the infectious agents in the meat penetrate. In addition, injuries of the mucous membranes (eg in the context of sexual intercourse) as a source of infection are conceivable.
  • Contact with contaminated surfaces and infected persons: Mollusc warts are also known as swimming pool warts, because their pathogens are fond of wet spots. Also, plantar warts and other plantar warts often arise after running on contaminated pool floor or using shared showers. In principle, however, the virus pathogens of warts can also settle on all other public and private places, which is why a smear infection in contact with virtually any contaminated surface (eg door handles or fittings) comes into question. Even body contact, such as shaking hands with already infected people, makes a wart infection possible.
  • Lack of body and intimate hygiene: Whoever does not wash their hands after contact with contaminated surfaces or infected persons, is twice as likely to contract a wart. With regard to genital warts, sufficient intimate hygiene is also crucial, as warts in the genital area are primarily caused by unwashed genitals in combination with unprotected sexual intercourse.
  • weakened immune system: A healthy immune system is often capable of rendering papillomaviruses and other warts agents harmless before they cause skin proliferation. In the case of a weakened immune system, however, the body is much more susceptible to viral infections of any kind. Immunodeficiencies in this context can not only come from pre-existing conditions. Even immune deficiencies due to stress, emotional stress and an unhealthy diet can not be ruled out as the cause of warts.
  • Age factors: According to statistics, up to 33 percent of all children suffer from various forms of warts. In adults, however, it is only about 3 to 5 percent. This suggests that the child’s body is more susceptible to wart virus infections. Perhaps the immune system of the children plays an important role again, because in childhood, the body’s own defenses have yet to develop. In addition, modern everyday life often means significantly more stress for the youngest in society, which can further reduce their immune strength.
  • existing skin diseases: In terms of immune system, dermal autoimmune diseases are also mentioned among the risk factors for warts. Especially patients who suffer from the atopic dermatitis known as neurodermatitis, have an increased risk of warts. Whether skin diseases such as psoriasis and hives also represent an increased risk, although not yet sufficiently researched, but considering immunological processes close.

Symptoms of a wart

In addition to the individual appearance of a wart, the infection may accompany other symptoms. For example, genital warts cause annoying itching in the genital area. Plantar warts are in turn caused by stress pain on the sole of the foot. Spiny warts can also itch, hurt or cause a feeling of tightness on the skin due to their strongly keratinized texture. Overall, the following symptoms can be expected in the case of a wart:

  • Scaly, discolored and / or keratinized skin growths
  • itching
  • redness
  • Tension on the skin
  • Pain under pressure

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