Your Healthy Skin is Our Priority
Do you suffer from unsightly warts? Affecting millions of people of all ages each year, warts are an incredibly common, yet irritating and often troublesome, skin growth that can appear anywhere on the body. Fortunately, there are several excellent removal and treatment options available today!
At Wilmington Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center, we’re experts in the removal of a number of different unwanted skin growths, including warts. Take a look at our guide below to learn more about warts and how we treat them at our clinic.
What Is A Wart?
Simply put, a wart is a benign, non-cancerous growth due to an infection in the top layer of skin, otherwise known as the epidermis. Warts most often appear when a virus enters through a broken area of the skin, such as a cut, scrape, or scratch. This virus then triggers an overgrowth of skin cells, which results in the development of a wart.
FAQs About Warts
With so many people affected by warts each year, it’s no surprise that one of the most common questions about warts is what causes them. Warts are caused by a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV), which infects the top layer of skin and triggers an overgrowth of cells to create an external skin growth.
Warts may be simple to remove, with many going away on their own. However, if you have a particularly troublesome wart that refuses to disappear with time or over-the-counter remedies, there are a variety of wart removal and treatment options.
A board-certified dermatologist will often recommend one of the following treatments to help get rid of a wart:
- Cantharidin – “Paints” the wart with a solution that causes it to blister from underneath. After about a week or two, the warty growth scabs over and falls off.
- Cryotherapy for warts – This involves freezing the wart, most commonly done with liquid nitrogen.
- Electrosurgery and Curettage – Burning and scraping the wart off.
- Excision – Surgical removal of the wart.
- Prescription Topical Medication – Occasionally a topical prescription medication may be prescribed for treatment, especially when other treatments have failed
Before you attempt to treat a wart yourself, it’s best to consult a board-certified dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan to achieve optimal results.
Warts form due to an overgrowth of skin cells. When HPV infects the skin, it causes the excessive and rapid growth of keratin, a hard protein on the top layer of the skin. This creates a growth (wart) on top of the skin. It’s also important to keep in mind different strains of HPV cause different types of warts, which may look dissimilar to one another. For example, a wart can form as a cauliflower-looking growth or simply round, flat, and smooth.
Yes, warts are contagious. There are many ideas about how warts are spread. While we know direct contact (i.e contact directly with the wart itself) is a means of spread, there may be other methods of acquiring the virus, such as through a shared surface/indirect contact.
Scientists have identified more than 100 unique types of HPV, otherwise known as the virus that causes warts. This means there is a wide range of different types of warts one may get.
Almost all types of HPV cause warts, but the most common types include:
- Foot warts (plantar warts) – most commonly found on the soles of feet.
- Common warts – usually grow on the backs of hands, fingers, and toes.
- Flat warts – typically appear on the face, thighs, or arms.
- Filiform warts – warts that have fingerlike projections
- Periungual warts – grow under and around the toenails and fingernails.
Though the warts mentioned above are the most common it can be hard to distinguish one from the other. This is why it’s important to consult an experienced dermatologist for a thorough skin evaluation and diagnosis.
The widespread notion that you can get warts from frogs and toads is a myth. While there are many different types of warts, frogs and toads are not able to transmit the wart causing virus to humans. It’s important to remember that most warts are not dangerous, treating and removing them usually isn’t a problem, and they are in no way caused by amphibians.
No, warts are usually not permanent. In many cases, warts disappear within a year or two of developing and are little more than an inconvenience. In some cases, warts may remain for many years, even decades. One can hasten the removal process with an effective wart treatment, such as cryotherapy for warts (liquid nitrogen treatment) or cantharidin.
Pictures of Warts
Take a look at the photos below of warts to get a better idea of how the experienced team of dermatologists at Wilmington Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center can help you remove a wart and restore your smooth, natural skin.
Request Wart Removal Near Wilmington, North Carolina
If you have a stubborn wart that won’t go away with time or over-the-counter remedies, get in touch with our team of board-certified dermatologists today. We’re experts in skincare and are here to help you with the removal and treatment of warts in a state-of-the-art facility. Book your appointment today or give us a call at 910-782-0028 to learn more.