Warts and Treatment
Found as a single lesion or in a group, warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) and are a very common skin condition we see each day at Dermatology and Laser Center of Charleston. Most often found in children, they generally appear on the hands, feet or arms.
What causes warts?
Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) and spread by contact. The HPV virus enters through an open wound to the skin causing the cells in that area to start rapidly reproducing. A majority of people who come into contact with HPV never develop warts, and growths can be delayed for up to 12 months after the virus infects the skin.
It’s common to contract warts at gyms, hotels, swimming pools, friends and other family members. One of the best ways to prevent warts is to always wear shoes or sandals when visiting public places, especially pools and spas. Many young children contract warts at school or during after-school sports activities.
Are there different kinds of warts?
- Common Warts are typically found in clusters on the hands. They are also referred to as verruca vulgaris in medical dermatology.
- Flat warts are smaller and appear on the face or legs. As they are smaller and flat, they can be more difficult to see and diagnose by the untrained eye.
- Plantar warts can be found on the soles of the feet. Plantar warts are known to be painful due to the pressure of body weight.
How can I treat warts?
Warts can be stubborn in trying to get rid of them, however there are effective treatment options available. Topical medication or freezing are two of the most common and effective forms of treatment. Often requiring more than one treatment to the site, appointments for wart treatments can be shorter than regular medical office visit appointments. Should you require a more aggressive form of treatment other than topical or freezing therapies, surgical removal is also an option.
Warts have been known to heal themselves in time for both children and adults, however this process can take multiple years. Over the counter treatment options are popular and also are often the first line of defense, yet they are not as effective as physician prescribed therapies. Treatment regimens are designed on an individual basis with considerations on the person’s age, location of the warts and lifestyle.
How can a dermatologist help me with warts?
Warts can be upsetting and unsightly for patients of all ages. When over the counter medications aren’t doing the trick, a board-certified dermatologist or dermatology physician assistant are here to step in and elevate your treatment to the next level.
If you’re ready to take action on treating your warts, simply contact our office to schedule an appointment. Our goal at Dermatology and Laser Center of Charleston is to help you achieve the happiest, healthiest skin possible, and helping you effectively treat any condition which is bothersome or painful is the first step on this path!