Warts are small, usually painless growths on the skin. They can be easily spread and are caused by a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). Some lesions are spread through sex.
Warts may affect your appearance and can be embarrassing. They may itch, hurt or bleed and can be hard to define clinically (particularly on the feet).
Most warts are raised with a rough surface. Some of them can have finger-like projection.These are called “papilla” The spot where the wart is may be lighter or darker than the other skin. Rarely, warts are black and when they present like this it suggests that the lesion is traumatized with the black color being actually dried blood.
What are the different types of warts?
Common – often appear on the hands or body, but can grow anywhere.
Flat – are generally found on the face, forehead, or shins of the legs. They are common in children. They are less common in teens, and rare in adults.
Genital (condyloma) – are usually found on the genitals, in the pubic area, and in the area between the thighs. They can also appear inside the vagina and anal canal. See a more detailed description here.
Plantar warts – found on the soles of the feet. They can be very painful. Many of them on the foot may cause problems walking or running.
Subungual and periungual – appear under and around the fingernails or toenails. They can be difficult to treat.
There are many types of treatments for warts. The choice of treatment depends on the size, location and recurrence risk of the lesion. The following are a list of treatments that we sometimes employ at our office:
- Podophyllin or salicylic acid
- Duct Tape
- Freezing (cryotherapy) to remove it
- Burning (electrocautery) to remove it
- Laser treatment (CO2 or pulse-dye) for difficult to remove warts
- Immunotherapy, which gives you a shot of a substance that causes an allergic reaction and helps the wart go away, e.g. Squaric Acid, DNCB
- Topical Imiquimod or Sinecatechins
If you have any questions about your warts or would like to contact our office to schedule an evaluation or treatment , please click here.