Warts are non-cancerous skin growths caused by viral infections in the skin. Some warts are treatable with over-the-counter medications, but others need advanced medical treatments to remove the wart. Viruses causing warts are called human papilloma virus (HPV) and normally are skin-colored bumps that expand out from the top layer of skin. There are three types of warts:
- Common warts
- Foot warts (plantar warts)
- Flat warts
Warts known as common warts are normally found on the fingers, around the fingernails, and on the back of hands. Warts often occur when the skin has been broken and the warts often have a small black dot inside, which resembles a seed.
Plantar warts are normally found on the doles of the feet. These warts tend to grow in clusters and they rarely rise above the skin as the pressure of walking can press on the warts, causing them to be flat as they are pushed back into the skin. Plantar warts are normally painful and often require medical treatment to effectively treat the wart.
Flat warts are smaller and smooth compared to the other warts. They can grow in large clusters, upwards of 100 at a time. The can occur anywhere, but are commonly found on the face for small children and on legs for adults.
Why do Warts Occur?
Warts are normally passed from person to person. Some people get warts based on how they are exposed to the virus. If the skin is damaged, it is easy for warts to grow. Children often get them because they bite their nails or pick at hangnails. Patients with weakened immune systems tend to be at a higher risk for warts.
Warts can often disappear without treatment, but some warts are painful, bothersome, and need to be treated by a professional. At Allen-Taintor Dermatology, we provide a number of treatment methods based on the type of wart and the patient’s overall health. The most common treatments for warts include the following:
- Salicylic acid – this is the most common treatment for young children with common warts. Treatments can take weeks to properly kill the wart. If the treatment becomes painful or the wart starts to become sore, contact our Ogden dermatology office. We can treat the wart with a painting method with canthardin, which causes a blister under the wart and forces it to die.
- Cryotherapy (freezing) – a common method that provide favorable results.
- Electrosurgery (burning) – this common method is used to treat warts.
- Laser therapy – this can be used to treat warts, but often requires the use of local anesthesia to numb the area that needs to be treated.
If you have unsightly warts, or you need treatment for warts? Contact Allen-Taintor Dermatology in Ogden for more information about wart removal services.