Warts are flesh-colored skin growths occasionally marked with clotted blood vessels resembling black dots. Warts can affect men, women and children of all ages. Athough warts may be annoying and unsightly, they are perfectly harmless and do not carry any risk of cancer. Where warts tend to occur on the body is influenced by the type of warts developed, however most warts tend to appear on the fingers, hands and feet.
Causes of Warts
Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus, more commonly known as HPV. Although HPV may be sexually transmitted, there are many different types of HPV and not all of them are transmitted this way. In order to become infected with a type of HPV that causes warts, direct or indirect contact with the virus is necessary, however the risk of contracting warts from a person is very low.
After initial exposure to a wart-causing virus, it may take as many as two to six months for the initial onset of warts to occur. It is important to note that warts can spread to other areas on your own body through open wounds and nail biting.
Types of Warts
There are three types of warts that may be treated in a dermatology office, including:
Common warts – Small, rough warts that typically occur around the fingernails and on the backs of hands
Plantar warts – Warts that affect the bottom of the feet and may be very painful
Flat warts – Smaller, smoother warts that typically appear in greater numbers on the face and legs
The type of warts you experience may dictate the type of wart removal that is most appropriate for treating your condition.
Topical over-the-counter treatments for warts containing salicylic acid are frequently used to treat warts but are not as quick and may not be as effective as other methods for wart removal. Other topical medications, such as Aldara or Retin-A may be prescribed for treatment of more stubborn warts.
Therapies for wart removal include:
Cryotherapy, or freezing warts with liquid nitrogen, is a popular wart removal method
Blistering Beetle extract (Canthacur) is a natural chemical that can be used to remove warts
Electro surgery, or cautery
Would you like to learn more about Wart Removal? Call us to schedule a consultation at Clovis Dermatology.