Warts, or verruca, are harmless skin growths caused by infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts are particularly common in children and people with compromised immune systems, but they can occur in anyone of any age. Although warts are not dangerous, they can sometimes be painful or cause people to be self-conscious because of their appearance.
Did you know…
there are more than 100 subtypes of HPV? Although there is no cure for the virus, the body’s immune system can eventually keep the virus at bay. However, this means that there is always a chance that warts may return at the same sites or appear in new spots.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I have a wart?
There are many different types of warts — common warts, plantar warts, and flat warts to name a few. Warts can vary in appearance but commonly are skin colored, rough, firm, and raised bumps. Sometimes warts can mimic other benign growths or even skin cancer. It would be wise to visit a dermatologist if you suspect that the growth is not a wart.
How did I get the wart?
Warts can spread from person to person. You can get warts from touching a wart on someone’s body or from touching something that another person’s wart touched. It is easier to catch the virus when you have a cut or scrape on your skin. You can spread warts from one place on your body to another.
When should I see a dermatologist about warts?
There are many over-the-counter treatments for warts; however, warts are frequently resistant to treatment and sometimes can spread rapidly. You should see a dermatologist if you are not sure if the growths you have are warts, cannot get rid of the warts, the warts hurt, or you have many warts.
How do dermatologists treat warts?
There are many ways to treat warts. The choice of therapy will depend on the age and health of the patient as well as the location and type of wart. There are many topical methods that strip away the wart or stimulate the body’s immune system against the wart. Cryotherapy, cantharidin, electrosurgery, shave removal, and lasers are also options. Sometimes, injections or oral pills can also be tried. With all treatments, persistence and patience are essential!