When you spot a wart on your skin, images of a wicked witch might come to mind, filling you with embarrassment. But warts are common and nothing to be ashamed of.
And while the growths usually go away on their own over time, medical treatment is available to help you do away with the warts quickly and before they spread.
At Northstar Dermatology in North Richland Hills, Texas, our expert team of board-certified dermatologists provide effective treatment for warts of all kinds. To learn about warts, including your treatment options, read on.
The basics of warts
A virus causes the grainy skin growths known as warts. The most common warts are caused by a few different types of the human papillomavirus (HPV). They can appear most anywhere on your body, but they usually develop on your hands, face, fingers, knees, or genitals.
Warts spread through touch, when the virus spreads from one person to another or from one body part to another. Touching your face with your hand that has wart, for example, may lead to a facial wart.
Once you’re exposed to the virus, a wart of your own may take as long as 2-6 months to develop.
When to see a professional
We recommend getting professional treatment for your wart, considering how contagious they are and how long they can linger. Many people come into our office once a wart affects their appearance.
Regardless, you should seek medical care if your wart is painful, spreads, disappears and then returns, or changes in appearance.
Medical treatment for warts
Numerous treatment options are available to do away with a bothersome wart. At Northstar Dermatology, we offer:
- Bleomycin, an injectable medication
- Cryotherapy or cryosurgery, which uses a freezing technique
- Cantharidin, a topical chemical
- Electrosurgery, which uses electrical currents
- Surgical excision
- Topical prescription medications, to apply at home
Depending on the size and location of your wart, we may recommend more than one treatment.
Preventing additional warts
To prevent future warts from cropping up, practice positive hygiene habits, such as routine and thorough handwashing and not using someone else’s makeup or eyedrops.
If you cut your skin while shaving or have an open, irritated pimple, cover that skin with a bandage to keep a wart-inducing virus from creeping in. And remember, getting treatment soon after a wart appears can go a long way toward keeping additional warts from appearing.