Warts are growths that can appear on a person’s hands, fingers, and other parts of their body. They are usually rough to the touch and may also have small black dots. Warts are benign growths caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Once a person’s skin has been exposed to the virus, it can take up to six months for a wart to develop. It is common for them to disappear on their own although many people want to have them removed when they interfere with their lifestyle or appearance. There are several treatment plans available for warts at Trillium Creek Dermatology.
In the majority of cases, our dermatologists can easily look at a wart and diagnose it. There are some cases, however, in which we’ll need to perform a skin biopsy. This is a quick and safe procedure. If necessary, our dermatologist will remove the wart and send it to a lab to be analyzed. Warts can resemble squamous cell skin cancers, especially in older individuals.
Most warts are harmless. With children, it is common for warts to simply go away with no treatment. People should see a dermatologist if they hurt, if they have several of them, or if they simply don’t want to deal with their appearance. At our dermatologists’ offices, we provide many types of treatments based on the type of wart and a person’s skin health, as well as their age.
There are many ways to both remove and prevent warts, including the following:
- Electrodesiccation – This involves burning the wart off using an electric current.
- Curettage – This is when a dermatologist scrapes off the wart with a small, spoon-shaped implement or a sharp knife. This can be used along with electrosurgery.
- Acids – Strong acids such as salicylic and lactic acid can kill and remove thin layers of a wart at a time, slowly shaving it down to reduce its appearance and eventually cause it to disappear.
- Cryotherapy – This is a common wart treatment for older children and adults. It involves freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen. It is painful, so it is not recommended for young children. Cryotherapy can cause dark spots to appear on people who have dark skin. It is common to need more than one cryotherapy treatment.
Certain warts require stronger treatments.
- Immunotherapy – This is designed to help a patient’s immune system battle their warts. This is done when other treatments have failed. A chemical irritant will be placed on the wart to induce a mild allergic reaction around the wart. This causes the wart to go away.
- Chemical Peels – When flat warts are diagnosed, there are often many of them. This can mean a good course of action is a chemical peel, in which a combination of ingredients and acids are used to dissolve and kill the wart tissue.
- Laser Treatment – This is an option when warts have not responded to other treatments.
Anyone who has warts, or nearly any other type of skin concern can contact the dermatologists at Trillium Creek Dermatology throughout Northeast Ohio. Arrange for a consultation today by contacting the location nearest you or online through our online scheduling tool.