Posts for tag: Warts
Whether you have a mole, birthmark or warts, it is important to pay close attention to any skin abnormality to ensure they do not develop into a more serious condition. Regular self-exams and trips to your dermatologist are important in preventing further complications. While moles and birthmarks are normal and common, and warts are typically unpleasant but not serious, any of these conditions could develop into a more serious issue if you aren't paying attention.
Moles are common - almost everyone has a few and some people develop hundreds. Individuals with light skin tend to have more moles, with the average ranging from 10 to 40.
Some moles can increase the risk of developing skin cancer more than others. Performing regular self-exams helps you recognize the early warning signs of melanoma. When examining your moles, look for the ABCDEs of melanoma detection:
Asymmetry – one half is not like the other
Border – irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border
Color – varied from one area to another, shades of tan, brown and black
Diameter – melanomas are usually greater than 6mm
Evolving – a mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.
Warts are non-cancerous skin growths caused by a viral infection in the top layer of the skin. Viruses that cause warts are called human papillomavirus (HPV). Usually skin-colored and rough to the touch, warts can also be dark, flat and smooth. The appearance of a wart depends specifically on where it is growing. There are several kinds of warts, including:
Common warts – Usually grow on fingers, around the nails and on the backs of the hands.
Plantar Warts – Typically found on the soles of the feet.
- Flat Warts – Smaller and smoother than other warts, and tend to grow in large numbers.
Usually passed from person to person, warts can also be passed indirectly in some cases. The gap from first contact to the time the warts have grown large enough to be seen is often several months.
Birthmarks are areas of flat or raised discolored skin that are often on the body at birth or may develop shortly after birth. Birthmarks vary in color and may be brown, tan, black, blue, pink or red. Some birthmarks are only 'stains' on the surface of the skin, while others extend into the tissues under the skin or grow above the surface.
If you have a mole, birthmark or wart, it is important to visit your dermatologist for regular screenings in addition to self-exams at home. Though these are often harmless, it is important to keep a close eye on your ailments to prevent any further problems.
Warts are benign skin growths that appear when a virus infects the top layer of the skin. They often appear as a small, unsightly, rough growth on a person’s hands or feet, but can also appear on other parts of the body. There are many types of warts, some appearing flat or raised, and others growing in large clusters.
The virus that causes most warts is called human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts are usually harmless, but some strains of HPV are associated with other health complications. Wart viruses are contagious and can spread by direct contact, usually entering the body in an area of broken skin.
When should you see your Peoria dermatologist?
In some cases, a wart will disappear on its own, although it may take months or even years. Most people prefer some method of wart removal since warts are often unattractive, bothersome and even painful. In many cases, warts can be treated at home.
Common methods for self-treatment include covering the wart with duct tape or applying salicylic acid. It’s always best to consult Advanced Desert Dermatology before trying any at-home remedies. Wart removal by a trained dermatologist is always the most effective treatment.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends visiting your dermatologist if you have any of the following:
- Any doubt that the skin growth is a wart, as some skin cancers resemble warts
- A wart that appears on your face or genitals
- Several warts
- A wart that is painful, itchy, burns or bleeds
- A weak immune system
Because the wart virus is contagious, you’ll want to take a few extra precautions to keep it from spreading.
- Avoid scratching or picking your warts.
- Always wear shoes in public places such as showers, locker rooms or pools.
- Never touch another person’s wart.
- Keep warts on the feet dry to prevent moisture from spreading the virus.
If your warts persist, your warts are painful, or if you have several warts, you should visit Advanced Desert Dermatology. There are many treatment options available for warts, including laser treatment or freezing, burning or cutting out the wart, among others. Your Peoria dermatologist can help you determine the best treatment option for your specific type of wart.
Since there is no permanent cure for the wart virus, warts can redevelop. In this case, its best to have your dermatologist treat the new wart as soon as it appears. Warts are a common and frustrating condition affecting both children and adults. Contact our Peoria office today and learn how you can treat your warts.