Warts are skin growths caused by viruses, most often human papillomavirus (HPV). More than 100 types of HPV can cause skin growths, but almost all are harmless, typically appearing on the hands and/or feet. There are five primary types of warts, all of which appear on different parts of the body and have a distinct appearance. Warts symptoms will vary by type.
- Common warts, which typically grow on the fingers and toes and have rounded tops
- Plantar warts, which appear on the soles of the feet and grow into the skin rather than out
- Flat warts, which grow on the face, thighs, and/or arms and have flat tops
- Filiform warts, which appear around the mouth, nose, and neck and are shaped like tiny flaps of skin
- Periungual warts, which grow under the toe and fingernails and can be very painful.
To prevent warts, ensure you cover all cuts and scrapes, wash your hands often, prevent dry skin from cracking, and wear flip-flops in locker rooms, public showers, and pool areas. These precautions will limit HPV’s ability to enter the body.
When to See a Doctor for Warts Treatment
Warts are not typically dangerous, but they can be painful, contagious and, in some cases, embarrassing. Treatment may be necessary if you have warts on the face or other sensitive parts of the body, as well as if the growth is painful. If you notice bleeding or signs of infection around a growth, medical treatment will be necessary. Additionally, people with diabetes should see a doctor if warts appear on the feet.
It is important to remember that warts can spread to other parts of the body, and they are contagious to others. Those working in the service industry, as well as people who work in healthcare, may want professional wart treatment and diagnosis more than others. A lot of nurses, waiters, cooks, and teachers come to our Chesterfield dermatology clinic for warts treatment.
What to Expect with Warts Treatment
Different warts respond to different treatments. Approximately half of warts resolve spontaneously. Salicylic acid products (in the form of drops, gels, pads and bandages) can help self-treatment by dissolving the keratin protein that makes up the wart and the dead skin above it. Many of these products are available at drugstores without requiring a prescription. However, if a treatment requires that you rub the growth with a fingernail file or pumice stone, dispose of the utensil after treatment. Reuse can further spread the virus causing the condition.
Liquid nitrogen freezing or electrical stimulation are other common treatments. Surgery may be recommended for painful or large warts that do not respond to over-the-counter and less invasive treatments.
Whether you’re seeking warts treatment for cosmetic or medical purposes, don’t let the unsightly bumps diminish your confidence. If you live in the St. Louis area, a consultation with one of our dermatologists can help determine which treatment options work best for your condition and lifestyle.
*Results may vary per patient.
Everyone in the office is very helpful and kind - they truly care for each patient and their individual needs. Thank you!
This is an awesome office! All the staff are so friendly and caring! If you have a dermatological problem, then they will do everything in their power to help you! I definitely recommend them.
Dr. Blattel is the best I've been seeing her for 10+ years!