Can Skin Warts Cause Cancer?

Wart on hand

In general, most common skin warts, caused by certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV), are not considered cancerous. The types of HPV that cause skin warts are usually different from those that are linked to cancer.

Common skin warts, such as those found on the hands, fingers, or feet, are typically benign growths and are not associated with an increased risk of cancer. However, some types of HPV, particularly high-risk strains, are known to cause changes in the skin that can lead to certain types of cancer, such as cervical cancer, anal cancer, or cancers of the genitals.

Although uncommon, certain types of warts can potentially develop into skin cancers known as squamous cell carcinomas, particularly in individuals with weakened immune systems or those who have had long-standing, untreated warts.

It’s important to monitor any changes in warts, especially if they become painful, bleed, change in color, size, or shape. If there’s uncertainty or concern about a skin lesion or growth, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional or dermatologist for proper evaluation and appropriate management. Early detection and treatment can help prevent potential complications or progression to cancerous growths.

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