Warts are the dermatology condition that most people don’t talk about. These small, rough growths that are caused by viruses can show up anywhere on the body and affect people of all ages. The most common types of warts are:
- Common warts, also called verruca vulgaris. These warts have a raised, rough surface. They occur on the hands most frequently, but can occur anywhere on the body.
- Flat warts are small, and as their name indicates, flat and smooth. They can appear in clusters, and are most often seen on the face, legs and areas that are shaved regularly.
- Plantar warts are found on the soles of the feet, especially on pressure points like the ball of the foot or the heel. These warts show up as hard, sometimes painful lumps, under the skin’s surface and in clusters about the size of a quarter.
Warts are contagious and are spread when a virus enters the body through broken skin. Because they can spread from person to person, it’s a good idea to treat warts immediately.
Treatment for Warts
The Midwest Dermatology team treats warts based on the type of wart and on where the warts exist on your body. To eliminate warts, patients may undergo:
- Laser treatment with a CO2 laser – the laser excises the wart from the skin and seals the nerve endings at the same time.
- Electrodessication – Dermatologists use a mild electric current to burn the wart; then the wart is scraped off the skin’s surface.
- Liquid nitrogen cryotherapy – Our skin specialists spray a small amount of liquid nitrogen directly onto the wart. Multiple applications of liquid nitrogen may be needed to destroy both the wart and the virus.
- Chemical treatment – A special wart-killing chemical is applied to and absorbed by the wart. The chemical causes the wart to dry up and peel away. Just like liquid nitrogen treatment, chemical treatment may need to be repeated several times in order to effectively remove the wart and kill the wart-causing virus.
After a wart has been removed, patients should monitor their skin to make sure no new warts develop.