What Franklin, TN patients need to know about wart prevention and treatment
Warts are a common type of skin growth, which may be found anywhere on the body, but are most common on the hands. Most will eventually go away without treatment, but it can take a very long time. However, you don’t have to wait and hope for them to disappear. Here at CoolSprings Laser, Aesthetic & Skin Care Center, we offer several gentle and effective wart removal treatments.
What are warts?
Warts are a type of skin growth, usually with a grainy or bumpy appearance. All warts are contagious, but the symptoms and area of the body vary, depending on the type:
- Common warts – As the name suggests, this is the most common type. It is what you probably think of when you hear the word “wart.” These growths are most likely to form on the feet or hands. They usually have a greyish color, round shape, and extremely tough texture.
- Plantar wart – Planter means the soles of feet, which is where these warts are found. The skin in this area is subjected to significant pressure on a daily basis, every time we stand or walk. Therefore, warts here manifest differently from those elsewhere on the body, growing inward instead of outward. They look like tiny holes, with hardened skin surrounding them. Additionally, walking can be uncomfortable or even painful.
- Flat warts – Most often seen on the thighs, arms, or face, these warts are less noticeable than the common variety. They tend to be flesh-colored, with a smoother texture. They are slightly raised, with flat tops.
- Filiform warts – These small, flesh-colored growths usually grow around the nose or mouth, and occasionally on the chin or neck. They are thin and might look like a skin tag or flap.
- Periungual warts – These warts develop under and around the fingernails or toenails. They can hinder nail growth, and they are often painful.
- Genital warts – All other types of warts on this list are considered essentially harmless, and treatment is optional. Warts that grow on the genitalia are the exception, as they are associated with potentially serious sexually transmitted disease and should be evaluated by a medical professional right away.
Risk factors and prevention
Anyone of any age can get warts, though some individuals are more susceptible, especially kids, teenagers, or people with compromised immune systems. Warts are caused by a contagious viral infection, so the best way to avoid them is to keep your skin clean and healthy.
Good habits to prevent most infections and contagious skin diseases include:
- Wash your hands frequently, especially if you think you’ve been exposed.
- Wear bandages or gloves as needed to protect any wounds or areas of broken skin.
- Keep fingernails and toenails clean and well groomed.
- Never chew on, or pick at, your nails.
- Avoid direct skin contact with an infected person.
Are warts dangerous?
Many people with warts worry about cancer. They are caused by a type of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. Although we most often hear of HPV as a sexually transmitted infection (STI), known for causing several types of cancer, it is actually a very large group of more than 150 related viral strains. Fewer than 50 types of HPV are sexually transmitted, and only about a dozen are cancer-causing.
Warts on the genitals are a sign of STI and may indicate risk of cervical cancer in women. Anyone with genital warts should seek medical attention right away. However, the strains of HPV that cause non-genital warts are not sexually transmitted, and they do not lead to cancer.
A common wart is benign and harmless, but there are several reasons you might want them removed. These growths can become uncomfortable or painful, especially when located in an area that receives frequent abrasion. They can spread from one area of the body to another, or from one person to another. Warts on the face and other highly visible areas can be a serious cosmetic concern. Additionally, some skin cancers may resemble warts, so accurate diagnosis is important.
Effective wart treatment
These skin lesions usually don’t require treatment, with the exception of STI associated genital warts. However, the nature of warts can make them quite unpleasant. Many people seek facial warts treatment for cosmetic reasons. Additionally, warts tend to be raised and rough-textured, so they often snag on clothing or otherwise cause discomfort. Fortunately, they are also quite treatable.
You will find various instructions for at-home wart removal, with the most popular method involving duct tape. The effectiveness and sometimes safety – not to mention comfort – of these DIY treatments are debatable. Additionally, any product or technique that claims to be a cure for warts should be viewed with suspicion, because that is misleading. A wart can be removed, and it will probably go away in a few months or years even without treatment. However, the virus that causes warts is not curable. If you’ve had one wart, more may grow in the same place or elsewhere on the body.
For individuals who don’t want to simply wait for warts to go away, there are several safe and reliable medical treatments available. When you visit CoolSprings Laser, Aesthetic & Skin Care Center for a consultation, we will discuss all of your options and help you choose the best one for your specific needs. The most common techniques include:
- Laser therapy – Targeted, intense light energy is applied to the wart, causing it to eventually slough off
- Salicylic acid – Prescription strength topical medication is used to peel away the wart in layers
- Other chemical peeling – Medicine such a trichloroacetic is used in a similar manner to salicylic acid, but it may require shaving the wart surface first
- Cryotherapy – The wart is frozen off using liquid nitrogen
- Excision – A very minor surgery is used to remove the wart
Don’t let the embarrassment or discomfort of unwanted warts get you down. Our experienced team of skincare experts is here to help. Call (615) 784-3223 to schedule an appointment at CoolSprings Laser, Aesthetic & Skin Care Center, and get ready to love your skin again!
Be WellCoolSprings Laser, Aesthetic & Skincare Center is here to serve Middle Tennessee patients with the best skincare services available. Call today to schedule your appointment! (615) 784- FACE (3223)
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