Pick up a toad, get a wart. At least that’s the wive’s tale about these growths. Truth is, you can pick up a toad a day and never get a wart. Or you can get them anywhere on your body, but they are most common among children and young adults. Most warts usually go away on their own within months or years, but in some cases, you’ll want the experts at Deschutes Dermatology to get rid of them.
What causes a wart to form?
Warts are skin growths that are caused by a virus, the human papillomavirus (HPV). The virus usually infects a person through an area of broken skin. HPV causes the top layer of the skin to grow rapidly; this is what forms warts.
Different types of warts
Common warts — Often seen on the hands and arms, common warts are dome-shaped, rough, and grayish-brown in color.
Plantar warts — These grow on the soles of the feet. They are thick, hard patches of skin that cause pain when walking, similar to stepping on a pebble.
Flat warts — These are small warts with flat tops that are candy pink, brown, or yellowish in color. They grow on the face, arms, and legs.
Filliform warts — These skin-colored warts appear to have threadlike growths sticking out of them. They grow around the mouth, nose, or in a beard.
Periungular warts — These warts are uneven and look like rough bumps. They grow under the toenails and fingernails and affect nail growth.
How do warts spread?
Warts can spread from one person to another quite easily. Simply touching another person’s wart can spread the HPV. Also, sharing towels or razors and such can spread them. After infection, warts can take months to actually development.
Getting rid of warts
Most warts don’t require any treatment, as the virus simply runs it course eventually. But if they cause pain, are spreading to other parts of the body, or bother the person, they can be removed. Home treatments use salicylic acid, but have mixed success because the concentration isn’t usually strong enough. At Deschutes, we have a variety of treatments: an injection to kill the virus, cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen freezing), electrosurgery, curettage (scalpel excision), and laser surgery. If the virus isn’t addressed, however, the warts can come back.
Do you have a wart or warts that are bothering you? Let us take care of them at Deschutes Dermatology. Call us to make your appointment, 541-330-0900.