What Causes Skin Warts Between the Legs?

Warts on human skin develop as a result of infection with any one of the hundreds of varieties of the human papillomavirus. Although most warts don't cause health problems, they can cause considerable discomfort, especially when bathing, getting dressed, walking or during sexual activity. Fortunately, the causes of skin warts between the legs are often preventable with lifestyle changes and vaccination.

Woman with crossed legs and shopping bags by her feet (Image: ljubaphoto/iStock/Getty Images)


Cuts or wounds on the skin can allow any one of the hundreds of strains of human papillomavirus to enter the skin and cause an infection which leads to the development of warts. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, warts grow most often in areas where skin cuts occur, such as on the legs of women who shave. Shaving between the legs requires care and dexterity, and just a small slip or slightly dull razor blade can lead to a cut. Similarly, shaving close to the genital area between the legs can result in skin cuts that allow infection with human papillomavirus during sexual activity.

Sexual Activity

Sexual activity, including any sort of genital contact can lead to skin warts between the legs. The human papillomavirus can spread between partners even if the infected partner does not have any warts on his or her skin at the time of contact, and regardless of whether condoms are used. Both men and women can prevent the development of some warts between the legs that are spread through sexual activity by getting vaccinated with Gardasil, although the vaccine isn't distributed in the United States to those older than age 26.

Skin Contact

Objects that come into contact with the skin between the legs can transmit strains of the human papillomavirus that cause warts. Touching an object that someone infected with human papillomavirus has contacted may transfer the virus to the hands, which can then lead to the development of warts between the legs if the hands aren't promptly washed, the KidsHealth website states. Similarly, sharing towels, bedding or clothing can allow for the transmission of human papillomavirus and subsequent development of warts between the legs. Even just sitting on a bath rug or in a bathtub or shower after an infected person has done the same can lead to the development of warts between the legs.

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