Warts are a viral infection of the skin which leads to benign (non-cancerous) skin growths. Warts can be fleshy, skin colored and rough textured but may also vary in appearance. The virus that causes warts is called HPV, or human papilloma virus, and it is contagious.
Warts can grow just about anywhere on the body but are common on the fingers, around the nails and on the back of the hands. Warts can be spread by picking, scratching, biting, shaving and playing with the wart itself. They can grow in large numbers and show commonly on the legs and face.
There are many different types of warts including:
- Common warts (verruca vulgaris)
- Plantar warts (foot warts)
- Flat warts (planar warts)
- Genital warts (condyloma acuminata)
Shaving the affected areas, may spread warts. Genital warts may be spread by person to person contact and are considered a sexually transmissible disease (STD).
Anyone can get warts, including children. Sometimes the wart will go away over time without treatment, but if the wart is enlarging or painful, it is important to see a board-certified dermatologist and ensure that the proper treatment is administered for your wart type, also taking into consideration your age and health.
Warts can be difficult and may require many treatments, which we understand can be uncomfortable and frustrating. Our team will work with you to determine the best treatment plan for you, however there are no easy treatments or a guaranteed path to success.
Some of our treatment options include:
- Over the counter treatments such as salicylic acid, occlusive tape and liquid garlic extract
- Prescription topical or oral medications
- Cantharidin: an in-office procedure meant to blister the wart off the skin
- Cryotherapy (freezing)
- Electrosurgery (“burning away” the wart)
When it comes to managing your skin’s health, it is important to choose an experienced and knowledgeable specialist. To find out more about treating warts, schedule an appointment to meet with one of our board-certified dermatologists by calling our office at 313-884-5100