Warts are small, harmless growths that develop on the skin. You may notice only one or they may grow in clusters. While they are usually painless, sometimes they can develop in places like the soles of the feet (known as plantar warts), which can be uncomfortable. Common warts often appear on the hands and arms while flat warts develop on the face and forehead. Plantar warts are typically found on the soles of the feet. Apart from developing these skin-colored growths, there usually aren’t any other symptoms associated with this condition.
What causes warts?
Warts are caused by an infection known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are more than 100 strains of HPV that can develop in different areas of the body, from the mouth and skin to the genital region. The type of HPV that causes warts on the hands, feet, or rest of the body isn’t the same type that causes genital warts.
How do I treat warts?
Warts usually go away on their own once the body fights the infection; however, it can take months to years for the wart to go away. Therefore, if you feel embarrassed by the wart or if the wart is in an awkward or uncomfortable place then you may choose to visit a dermatologist to have it removed. If you are a healthy individual you may also consider trying an over-the-counter wart removal option before turning to a dermatologist.
You should see a dermatologist if:
- Warts are spreading or getting worse
- Warts aren’t responding to at-home treatment
- Warts are developing on your face or genitals
- Warts are painful, bleeding, or itching
- You have a weakened immune system
- You have diabetes
When you visit your dermatologist, they will first need to make sure that the growth is a wart. Depending on the type and location of the warts, your skin doctor will talk to you about your treatment options. Common ways to treat warts include,
This topical treatment is often used on warts of the hands, feet or knees, and you will need to apply the topical treatment daily for several weeks. After the solution is applied you will also use a pumice stone to file away the dead outer layer of skin from the wart. The acid treatment will continue to kill the wart layer by layer until it’s completely gone.
Freezing the Wart
This is another common method for removing a wart. Liquid nitrogen is sprayed on the wart to freeze it. This is also referred to as cryotherapy. More than one liquid nitrogen treatment session may be needed in order to completely remove the wart.
Other options for removing a wart include burning, cutting or removing the wart with a laser, and these treatment options are often used on warts that don’t respond to the other treatments above. If you are dealing with warts and want to turn to a dermatologist to have it removed, then call to make your next appointment.
Have over-the-counter creams and ointments failed to help your psoriasis? Your Peoria, AZ, dermatologist, Dr. Vernon Mackey, offer treatments that may offer real relief.
Prescription medications can be helpful if your psoriasis doesn't improve after using drugstore products. Your Peoria skin doctor can prescribe a variety of prescription-strength medications that relieve itching and redness and reduce the formation of unattractive scales. Retinoids, the same medications used to treat acne and minimize signs of aging, can also decrease inflammation caused by psoriasis. Corticosteroids may be prescribed to control itching, swelling and redness and also slow cell turnover, improving the appearance of your skin.
Your dermatologist might also recommend a vitamin D cream that flattens lesions, slows skin growth and relieves itching, or may prescribe Anthralin, a medication that makes your skin smoother and also slows cell turnover and growth. If unsightly scales are an issue, salicylic acid can be used to prevent or reduce scale formation and increase shedding of the scales. Topical medications may be used in conjunction with other treatments.
Exposure to Ultraviolet A (UVA) or Ultraviolet B (UVB) lights may also decrease inflammation and scaling and decrease cell turnover time. Light treatment can be helpful whether you have small patches of psoriasis or your plaques occur over a large area. In some cases, UVA or UVB treatment may be combined with a light-sensitive medication or coal tar. Excimer laser treatment may also be beneficial in decreasing inflammation and scales. Laser beams only target areas of your skin affected by psoriasis and don't damage healthy skin.
Injected and oral medications
If these treatments don't adequately control your skin condition, your dermatologist may recommend injected or oral medications, including biologics, methotrexate, cyclosporine, or acitretin. It's important to follow your doctor's instructions precisely when taking these medications, as they can cause serious side effects in some people. Although the medications can be very helpful, you may not notice a change in your psoriasis for a few months.
Don't let psoriasis control your life! Call your Peoria, AZ, dermatologist, Dr. Vernon Mackey, at (623) 977-6700 to schedule an appointment.
The effects of chickenpox may last beyond your childhood infection. Shingles, a widespread, itchy, painful rash, can break out at any time in adulthood because the causative agent, the Varicella Zoster virus, lies dormant within the body for life. Your dermatologist can help you control the awful pain and dangerous complications of shingles. He or she also has suggestions on avoiding an outbreak of this common and contagious skin disease.
What does shingles look like? A shingles rash is a reddened, itchy, oozing skin rash composed of raised blisters. Typically, it is widespread on the face near the eye, on the torso (front wrapping around to the back), or on the neck. People experience exceptional pain for at least two to six weeks, and due to damaged nerve endings, some individuals have unresolved pain for years.
What are the potential complications? Just like its childhood counterpart, shingles is contagious. So, people exposed to your shingle rash may develop chickenpox if they have never been sick with it previously.
Plus, shingles may lead to serious vision or hearing problems, fever, balance issues, and light sensitivity. People with a weakened immune system are potential shingles sufferers, and unfortunately, perfectly healthy people who have a shingles flare-up can then become immunosuppressed. In short, shingles is nothing to joke about.
How is it treated? Mild cases respond to cool baths, skin calming lotions, topical steroids and over the counter pain relievers. More severe flare-ups may require narcotic pain relievers, anti-convulsants, steroidal injections and numbing medications applied directly to the skin. Medications such as Acyclovir and Valacyclovir help dampen the spread of the virus.
Can you prevent an outbreak of shingles? Your dermatologist or primary care physician may provide you with a shingles vaccine to greatly reduce your chances of having shingles. The American Academy of Dermatology says that Zostavoax is for patients over 60, and the Shingrix vaccine may be administered beginning at age 50.
Find out more
Your dermatologist is an excellent resource for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of a wide array of simple to complex skin conditions and diseases. If you are starting a shingle outbreak or desire to prevent one, call your skin doctor for a consultation. He or she will inform you on the best ways to stay as healthy as possible.
Mole Removal: What to Expect
Worried about that mole? A mole is a dark spot or irregularity in the skin. Everyone is at risk of skin cancer and should keep an eye on their skin and moles. Simply thinking about having a skin mole removed might send shivers down your spine, but sometimes it’s necessary for your health. For example, if a biopsy is cancerous, removing the mole can help to stop any cancer from growing more. But many individuals also have moles removed for cosmetic reasons.
What Causes Moles?
Skin moles occur in all races and skin colors. Some individuals are born with moles. Most skin moles appear in early childhood and during the first 20 years of a person's life. New moles appearing after age 35 may require medical evaluation, and possible biopsy. Some moles appear later in life. Sun exposure seems to play a role in the development of skin moles. People with high levels of exposure to UV light tend to have more moles. However, moles may also occur in sun-protected areas.
How Is It Done?
Mole removal is a simple kind of surgical procedure. Your doctor will likely choose one of two ways: surgical shave or surgical excision. Surgical shave is done more often on small skin moles. After numbing the area, your healthcare provider will use a blade to shave off the mole and some tissue underneath it. Stitches aren’t usually required. During the surgical excision procedure, your doctor will numb the area. He or she will use a circular blade or scalpel to cut out the mole and some skin around it. The doctor will then stitch the skin closed.
Can a Mole Grow Back?
There's a small chance that a mole can grow back after mole surgery, although there's no way to predict whether this will happen. It's important to understand that no surgery has a 100 percent cure rate. Some mole cells may remain in the skin and may recur in the same area. Some skin moles are more aggressive than others and need closer follow-up and additional treatment.
Are There Any Risks?
Risks of mole removal methods include infection, rare anesthetic allergy, and very rare nerve damage. Follow your doctor's instructions to care for the wound until it heals. This means keeping it covered, clean and moist. The area may bleed a little when you get home, especially if you take medications that thin your blood. It's always prudent to choose a doctor with appropriate skills and experience with these removals. This will lower the risks associated with this procedure.
Take charge of your health today. Regular self-skin examinations and annual skin examinations by a doctor help people find early skin cancers. If you need a mole check, find a dermatologist near you and schedule your annual skin cancer screening.A simple skin cancer screening could save your life.
Do you want to know more about rashes and how each case is treated?
Rashes are skin conditions on the skin that manifest in a variety of ways: red patch, small bumps or blisters. Rashes are not life-threatening and are treated with the help of your Peoria, AZ, doctor Dr. Vernon Mackey. Learn more about the different types of rashes and treatments, like over-the-counter anti-itch creams, antihistamines and moisturizing lotions.
More About Rashes
- A common type of eczema is Atopic Dermatitis.
- There is Contact dermatitis which is a type of eczema caused by an allergen.
- There are several chronic skin problems: acne, psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis.
- There are fungal infections, like ringworms and yeast infections
- There are viral Infections, like shingles.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association gives a list of other types of rashes.
Below is a list:
- Lichen planus: This rash manifests on several parts of the body, like inside the mouth, genitals and scalp but aren't contagious.
- Granuloma: This is a type of cancer that causes a rash and manifests in a variety of appearances on skin: a slightly raised and ringed patch usually found on one's hand, arm, foot or leg; patches all over one's body; a deep, round lump in one's skin that may be mistaken for ringworm. Contact your Peoria dermatologist because they can differentiate between the two.
Lupus: There are several types of lupus: cutaneous only affects skin and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) which affects the body's skin, joints and lungs.
Do you need a consultation?
For more information on rashes in Peoria, AZ, contact Advanced Desert Dermatology at (623) 977-6700 today!
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