Warts are tumors or growths that occur on the skin due to the keratin component of it growing too fast. This is something that is brought about by the Human Papilloma virus that is contained in them. They are highly contagious and hence can easily be passed from one individual to another via skin to skin contact.
At what age do warts start? To begin with, warts are very rare in babies under the age of three. They become more frequent in older children. Among children between age four and six for example, five to ten percent of them get warts. For the children between the age of sixteen to twenty, fifteen to twenty percent of them have warts. This frequency surprisingly, starts going down in adult hood. The older you are as an adult, the lesser the chances that you may have or will develop warts.
Different people have different immune systems. An HPV virus that would affect one individual may not do so to another because of the body fighting mechanisms he or she may have. This explains why in old adults they are not very common since they have a much more developed immune system.
It does not matter which age you are, prevention should be done at all costs. And how could one protect himself or herself against warts? First, there are vaccines that are available today to provide immunity against genital warts. They are administered to sexually active persons or people before they engage in sex. However, they are only readily available for women. Research on men is still undergoing to come up with a more suitable vaccine for them, although it is already in use by men in some countries like the US and UK.
You should also avoid sharing personal items with people who have warts. Towels, shoes, socks etc could have the HPV virus and this will just infect you and cause warts or verrucas, depending on the virus type. Whenever around communal showers, you should ensure that you wear sandals at all times. You never know when you may accidentally step on the virus washed off from another infected person.
Above all, avoid scratching of any warts on another person as well as on your body. Do not even touch them at all. In the case of another person, you may be infected with the virus while for your body, you may make the infection spread to your fingertips.
Further Reading: Removing Warts – Are Warts Dangerous?