Warts

Warts are a skin condition that results from infection by one or another strain of human papillomavirus (HPV). There are several types of warts that can affect people of any age, but some types are more commonly found in children, while some are more often found in adults. Many types, especially those usually found on children, disappear on their own. When troublesome, a wart can be treated by Dr. Shondra Smith with medications. In other instances, a method of wart removal can be performed, including freezing or surgical removal.

If you suffer from warts in Lake Charles LA and surrounding areas and are interested in treatment or removal options, contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Who Is Susceptible To Warts?

Patients with weak immune systems, such as those with HIV or another immune disorder, or those who have undergone organ transplants, are particularly susceptible to warts. Given that they are contagious through direct skin contact, strict personal hygiene will help to prevent spreading them to others. This includes avoiding the sharing of personal items, such as towels or razors, and direct skin contact like hand holding.

What Are The Different Types Of Warts?

Warts are small skin growths, flat or slightly raised, on your skin. They tend to vary in coloration and can be diagnosed by a simple medical examination by Dr. Smith. On occasion, a biopsy might be needed to distinguish them from particular types of skin cancer. Different wart types appear on different parts of the body and vary in appearance. Some of the most common types of warts are:

Common Warts – These usually appear on the fingers or toes
Flat Warts – These are common on the face, arms or legs
Plantar Warts – These grow on the soles of the feet, most commonly on the heels or balls of the feet, areas where most pressure is applied during standing or walking
Filiform Warts – These grow on the face or neck
Periungual Warts – These grow around or under toenails and fingernails

Can I Spread Warts From One Part of My Body to Another?

Yes. Warts are usually very contagious. Just as you might pick up the virus that causes warts from another person or from an affected surface, you can spread the virus from one part of your body to another. The way this usually happens is through shaving, which makes the skin more susceptible to the HPV virus if you touch it. If you touch a wart on one area of your body and then touch another body part, especially if you have just shaved or if you scratch the area, a new wart can develop there. The good news is that, knowing this, you can refrain from touching your wart or the skin immediately around it.

Can Warts Be Prevented?

You cannot completely eradicate the risk of getting a wart. The HPV virus can stick to the skin and to surfaces, making it easy to pick up accidentally. The best-case scenario is to reduce your risk of exposure and penetration of your skin. Tips for wart prevention from your Lake Charles dermatologist include the following:

  • Always wear shoes when using public pools and showers, or even when visiting local lakes.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Clean surfaces in your home and office regularly.
  • If you have a wart, refrain from touching it. Consider covering the wart with a band-aid or other covering.
  • Keep known warts dry.
  • If you have a wart near a fingernail or toenail, clip that nail with a separate pair of clippers than you use on other nails.

How Will a Dermatologist Treat My Warts?

Your doctor may initially recommend using a home remedy or commercial wart treatment to clear your condition. If your home treatment does not work or you would simply prefer to eradicate the wart as quickly as possible, your dermatologist may prescribe medical-grade medication to apply to the wart. Cryotherapy is also a common medical wart treatment. This is performed using liquid nitrogen, which quickly freezes the affected tissue. Surgery is rarely needed for warts but may be considered for those that are unresponsive to topical therapies.

Are Warts Common in Adults?

Warts most commonly affect children and teens. However, anyone could develop a wart under the right conditions. Usually, warts affect adults who are immunocompromised, making them more susceptible to HPV and other viruses.

When Should You Get a Wart Checked?

If you have treated a wart using home remedies or a commercial product and are not seeing an improvement, schedule a consultation with Dr. Smith. A thorough examination of the growth can confirm that you do, in fact, have a wart and not another skin condition. Other conditions for which a wart should be checked include a change in color, pain, bleeding, and frequent recurrence.

Can a Melanoma Look Like a Wart?

While melanoma skin cancer usually has dark brown or black pigment, this disease is also referred to as "The Great Masquerader." Research indicates that nearly one-third of malignant melanomas do not have the telltale brown pigment. Instead, they may look red or pink. In some cases, melanoma may look like a blood blister, ingrown nail, benign mole, or plantar wart. Because there is a chance that melanoma could masquerade as a wart or other type of growth, it is wise to have any new growth checked by a dermatologist.

Melanoma can sometimes resemble a wart, but this is much more common with non-malignant skin cancers. Both squamous cell carcinomas and basal cell carcinomas may develop without much pigment, if any at all. Basal cell carcinomas, in particular, may manifest as a small flesh-toned, pearly bump. That said, skin cancers can usually be differentiated from warts and other benign growths by their characteristics. Namely, skin cancer growths usually crust or bleed at some point, whereas warts do not.

Wart Removal Options

While most are benign, they may be itchy, painful or embarrassing. Dr. Smith offers various wart removal options, including:

  • Topical Gels
  • Cryotherapy
  • Acid
  • Surgery

In most cases, wart removal is permanent and they do not return. If you have additional questions about treatment options, please contact our office today or schedule an appointment with Dr. Smith.

Contact us Today!

If you are looking for wart removal options, give us a call today at 337. 477.0011 or contact us online to schedule an appointment with Dr. Smith. We serve patients located in Lake Charles, Sulphur, Moss Bluff, and Jennings, LA, Orange, TX, and surrounding areas.

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