Posts for tag: Warts
Warts are the result of a virus known as the human papillomavirus (HPV), and they can easily be spread from one person to another through skin-to-skin contact or by sharing items such as towels or clothes with the infected individual. While warts of the hands may be unsightly or embarrassing, it’s important to note that these growths are benign and harmless. Here’s what you should know about treating warts, including how a dermatologist will treat this common skin problem.
How do I know that it’s a wart?
If you’ve never had a wart before then you may not know what this little growth is at first. Warts are raised, skin-colored bumps that may be rough to the touch and grainy in appearance. If you look closely at the bump you may notice little black dots. These are small blood vessels. Since warts can be confused for cysts and other lesions, it may be a good idea to see a dermatologist first before you begin treatment.
How are warts treated?
Some people simply wait until their body fights the infection and the wart eventually goes away, but this can take months or even years. People who are dealing with warts in more sensitive and visible places such as their hands are more likely to want to get rid of the wart a lot sooner. Many healthy individuals turn to over-the-counter remedies first. There are salicylic acid solutions that you can apply directly to the wart and will need to continue to reapply regularly. This solution will shed layers of the wart until gone.
While no study tests the effectiveness of duct tape for removing warts, it not an unsafe practice or option (and if it works for you, great!). If you’ve given it a valiant effort to treat the wart on your own but it just doesn’t seem to respond to over-the-counter treatment options, or it returns, then it’s time to see your dermatologist. A dermatologist offers a variety of ways to remove a wart, including,
- Cryotherapy: Freezing the wart off is a common method for removing warts
- Cantharidin: A chemical is applied to the wart, which causes it to blister and fall off
- Surgical excision: If the bumps do not respond to other treatment options or are in hard-to-treat areas, this may be the ideal method for removal
We understand that warts can develop in rather awkward and sometimes uncomfortable places like the hands. If this happens to you and you don’t want to wait until your body clears the infection to get rid of your wart, then a dermatologist can provide you with the treatment you need to remove the wart more quickly.
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.
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.