Verrucas: more than just a foot virus

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Beware of verrucas.

These small, benign tumours, usually caused by a virus belonging to the extensive human papillomavirus family (HPVs), are extremely contagious. They spread very easily in warm, humid atmospheres, such as the areas around swimming pools, changing rooms in sports centers and school premises.

Public hygiene measures are generally not sufficiently effective to eliminate them entirely. Though not nearly enough on their own, these measures are nevertheless essential.

Personal hygiene and precautions are also vital. Protect your feet by wearing sandals; wipe them thoroughly after showering and, of course, never share hand towels, flannels or other bathroom linen.

Contrary to common belief, verrucas are not only found on the feet. They can develop on almost any part of the body, such as the hands, elbows, face and genitals, where they are commonly known as warts.

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