Warts are small growths that are typically found on the hands or feet, but can be found in other areas as well. They can resemble a solid blister-like growth as well as a cauliflower-like growth. The most common types of warts are:
Common Wart: a wart with a rough surface that is raised and is typically found on the hands.
Flat Wart: most common on the face, neck, hands, wrists and knees and is typically small, flat and flesh colored.
Genital Wart: a wart that is found on the genitalia.
Mosaic Wart: a cluster of warts.
Periungual Wart: occurs around the nails and is cauliflower-like.
Plantar Wart: a wart that is typically found on the feet and can be classified as a hard lump with black specks in the center of it.
What causes Warts?
Warts are caused by a viral infection of the skin, specifically by the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are over 100 different types of HPV, and some types are more likely to cause warts than others. The virus can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected person or by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus.
Warts are more likely to develop in areas where the skin is broken or damaged, such as on fingers or around fingernails, on the soles of the feet, and on the genitals. People with weakened immune systems are also more susceptible to developing warts.
It is important to note that while warts are generally harmless, some types of HPV can cause cervical cancer in women, as well as other types of cancer in both men and women. It is important to practice safe sex and get regular screenings for HPV and other sexually transmitted infections.
What are Treatment Options?
Luckily, there are a variety of treatment options when it comes to removing warts. The most common is salicylic acid which one of our dermatologists can prescribe. There are also a number of procedures that can be used to remove the wart itself. Among these include cryotherapy, immunotherapy and bleomycin. If you are worried about a wart on your body, call one of our dermatologists today to schedule an appointment.
There are several treatment options available for warts, including:
- Topical medications: Over-the-counter creams or ointments containing salicylic acid or other acids can help dissolve the wart. Prescription-strength medications may also be recommended by a doctor.
- Cryotherapy: A doctor may freeze the wart with liquid nitrogen, causing it to blister and fall off.
- Laser treatment: A laser can be used to destroy the blood vessels that feed the wart, causing it to eventually die and fall off.
- Surgery: In some cases, surgical removal of the wart may be necessary. This is typically done under local anesthesia.
- Immunotherapy: This treatment involves stimulating the body’s immune system to attack the virus causing the wart. It may involve injecting an antigen or applying a topical medication to the wart.
It is important to note that warts can be stubborn and may require multiple treatments to fully resolve. Additionally, some treatments may cause discomfort or scarring. It is best to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment option for your specific case.
How can I remove a wart?
There are several ways to remove a wart, including:
- Over-the-counter treatments: You can try using over-the-counter wart removal treatments, such as salicylic acid, which is available in the form of creams, gels, and pads. These treatments work by slowly dissolving the wart.
- Cryotherapy: Cryotherapy involves freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen. The freezing process causes the wart to die and fall off.
- Surgical removal: If the wart is large or persistent, your doctor may recommend surgical removal. This involves cutting the wart out with a scalpel or using laser surgery.
- Home remedies: Some people try using home remedies, such as applying duct tape, garlic, or apple cider vinegar to the wart. However, there is limited scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of these remedies.
It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before attempting to remove a wart on your own, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking medication. Your healthcare provider can help you determine the best course of treatment for your individual case.