Overview

HPV infection commonly causes skin or mucous membrane growths (warts). Certain types of HPV infection cause cervical cancers. More than 100 varieties of human papillomavirus (HPV) exist.

Different types of HPV infection cause warts on different parts of your body. For example, some types of HPV infection cause plantar warts on the feet, while others cause warts that mostly appear on the face or neck.

Most HPV infections don't lead to cancer. But some types of genital HPV can cause cancer of the lower part of the uterus that connects to the vagina (cervix). Other types of cancers, including cancers of the anus, penis, vagina, vulva and back of the throat (oropharyngeal), have been linked to HPV infection.

Vaccines can help protect against the strains of genital HPV most likely to cause genital warts or cervical cancer.