Warts are growths on the skin that are not cancerous. They appear on the skin when the top layer of skin is infected by a virus. Usually, warts develop when the skin is damaged and the virus is able to enter into the skin. Warts are caused by the HP virus (human papillomavirus), which is contagious. People with weak immune systems tend to get warts more than a healthy individual. Warts can grow on any part of the body.
There are many different kinds of warts. The common wart, also known as the vurruca vulgaris, grow on the backs of hands, around the nails and on the fingers. They often will have black dots that look similar to seeds, and will feel rough to the touch. They are common where the skin is broken, such as a hangnail. The virus that causes these warts can be spread from the hands to any other part of the body, such as the face, just by touching it.
Flat warts occur anywhere on the body. They are smaller and smoother than any other type of wart. They tend to grow in numbers. It is not uncommon for an individual to have 20 or more at one time. Males tend to get these in their beard area, while females often get them on their legs. Children tend to have flat warts on their face.
Foot warts are also referred to as plantar warts. These warts grow on the soles of the feet, and grow in a cluster. They too may have black dots, and often hurt. They can be flat or grow inward, due to walking on the feet.
Filiform warts often grow very quickly on the body. They have a long thread in them that sticks out or fingers that stick out. They will often grow on the face around the eyes, nose and mouth.
A dermatologist will be able to tell if you have warts just by examining the skin. However, in some individuals, a skin biopsy could be needed to double check. Warts will often be left untreated, as they will more often then not go away on their own. Warts in children often disappear much faster than those on adults. Should an adult wish to have treatment, there are many options. These include the following:
- Excision- The dermatologist will cut the wart out of the skin.
- Cryotherapy- The wart will be frozen off the skin. This is a very common technique to use. It is not as painful as other methods, but can cause dark spots on those with darker skin tones. Repeat treatments may be needed.
- Cantharidin- The wart is treated with Cantharidin, which will cause it to blister. After a week or so, you will return to the dermatologist where the wart will be snipped off.
- Electrosurgery and curettage- Electrosurgery or burning of the wart is used for foot warts, common warts and filiform warts. Curettage or scraping of the wart is often used in conjunction with electrosurgery.
- Laser treatments- For hard to remove warts, a dermatologist can use lasers to remove the wart. This is often used after another procedure has been tried.
Should you have a wart, never pick at it. Never touch someone else’s wart and always wear sandals in public locker rooms and showers. Keep the feet dry if you have foot warts as moisture will allow the warts to spread.
The price of warts treatment varies for each person depending on the extent of treatment necessary. Booth Dermatology & Cosmetic Care Center of Indianapolis and Carmel accepts CareCredit® financing options that work with every budget! Please speak to our concierge team for more information.
Dr. Sally A. Booth and her staff will be happy to discuss the details with you. Please feel free to call for a private consultation at one of our offices in Carmel or Indianapolis. Dr. Booth and his staff at Booth Dermatology & Cosmetic Care Center provide personalized care to residents of Indianapolis and Carmel with state-of-the-art technology for optimal health, aesthetics, and patient satisfaction. To receive more information or schedule a consultation, call (317) 848-2427 to speak with our friendly staff.