Warts are noncancerous growths that appear on the skin of patients who are infected with one of the many strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). The HPV virus triggers unnecessary new cell growth which makes the outer layer of the patient’s skin become thicker, resulting in a wart.
Warts are most likely to grow on patients’ hands and feet, but they can grow on any part of the body and can spread via skin-to-skin contact. People with open wounds and cuts are prone to an HPV infection if left untreated, and are the most susceptible for an affected area to develop into a wart. The treatment of warts varies from dermatologist to dermatologist. Most warts are physically harmless but can be cosmetically unappealing, embarrassing, and occasionally painful if poked or disturbed.
Merely waiting for a wart to go away may result in the wart getting bigger or risking the chance of giving it to someone else. There is no cure for HPV, so even if the warts are removed, the virus may still be in your body. In any case, if you have a wart, we recommend removing it.
Common treatments for wart removal include:
- Cryosurgery: We apply liquid nitrogen to the wart to freeze the tissue. Later, the warts and frozen skin will blister, crust, and naturally fall off.
- Cantharidin: This method involves applying medicine to the wart which causes a blister underneath the wart. After a short period, the blister dries, and the wart will come off along with the blistered skin.
- Scalpel removal: We use a scalpel to cut away the wart and surrounding tissue and stitch you up, but you may be left with a small scar depending on the size of the wart.