We Love You, Warts and All

Wart Removal Bend, ORMost people have some warts, usually when in their teens or as young adults. And none of them came from picking up a toad.

OK. So that’s out of the way.

Warts are caused by a virus, more specifically the human papillomavirus (HPV). While warts gave this virus its name (warts are clinically called papillomas), warts are the least of your worries when it comes to HPV. HPV is a group of more than 150 related viruses. Some cause warts, but others cause various cancers such as cervical, mouth, and others.

Why do people get warts?

When a person is infected with the HPV, usually through an area of broken skin, the virus causes the top layer of the skin to grow rapidly. The excessive cell growth creates the wart.

Warts can grow anywhere on the human body. Different types of warts grow in different places. Usually, they go away on their own within a few months or a couple of years. Sometimes, when the wart starts spreading or becomes painful, that’s the time to see Dr. Carter at Deschutes.

What are the different types of warts?

  • Common warts are dome-shaped, rough, and grayish-brown in color. They usually grow on the hands and arms.
  • Plantar warts are thick hard patches of skin that grow on the soles of the feet. When they get big enough, they need to be removed as they feel as if the person has a pebble in his or her shoe when walking.
  • Flat warts are small with flat tops. They are pink, brown, or yellow in color. They grow on the face, arms, and legs.
  • Filiform warts are skin-toned and appear to have threadlike growth sticking out of them. They grow around the mouth, nose, or the beard.
  • Periungular warts look like rough bumps with uneven borders and surfaces. They grow under the toenails and fingernails.

How do warts spread?

Kissing toads do not spread or create a wart, so princesses are safe. That is, unless they borrow a towel from a prince with a wart, or if they touch a wart on said Prince. After contact with the virus, it may take months before a wart sprouts.

When to beat up on a wart

Most warts can simply be ignored, kind of like your neighbor’s yapping miniature poodle. But if they become painful or start making baby warts, or if you don’t like the look of a wart, Dr. Carter can give them the business. She can use cryotherapy, electrosurgery, curettage, an injection, or even lasers to remove your warts. Usually, antibiotics need to be involved to keep the wart from returning; remember it is a virus that is responsible.

Have a wart you want Dr. Carter to make sleep with the fishes? Call her at 541-330-0900 and let’s take a look at it.

Keep the Shingles on Your Roof, Not Your Skin

Medical Dermatology Bend ORMany people know next to nothing about shingles beyond the type that cover your roof. But if you had chicken pox when you were a kid, you need to be aware of this viral infection that leads to a painful rash. At Deschutes, we offer shingles vaccinations and treatment.

What are shingles?

If you’re over 50, odds are you probably had chicken pox when you were a kid. There was no vaccine at the time, and it was very contagious. If you had chicken pox, you could develop shingles. The virus behind chicken pox, the varicella-zoster virus, is the culprit behind shingles. The virus resides in nerve tissue near the person’s brain and spinal cord but is dormant after the chicken pox outbreak. Then, particularly after the age of 50, it can rear its ugly head as shingles. Shingles will show itself as a painful rash on the skin, usually as a single strip of rash on the face or the body.

What are the symptoms of shingles?

The extreme pain that can be a part of shingles isn’t initially present. First, the person may begin to get headaches and become somewhat sensitive to light. Flu-like symptoms, without fever, come next.

You’ll wish you had those symptoms when the next phase comes on. The next stage will result in shooting or burning pain on one side of the body or face. This pain is also usually accompanied by itching and tingling sensations. The pain varies from person to person, but it can become severe. After two weeks, rashes may appear on the face or body. It most often appears as a single stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or the right side of the torso. These rashes will usually heal in two to four weeks, but the pain can linger for weeks, months, even a couple of years.

Stress, illness, and certain medications that compromise the immune system can trigger a shingles outbreak. Once a person has a shingles outbreak, it usually won’t happen again.

How we treat shingles

At Deschutes, Dr. Carter treats shingles in a variety of ways. The best option, for those over 50, is to have the shingles vaccine. This vaccine lowers your chances of getting shingles and usually prevents chronic pain from developing after your other symptoms have subsided.

Once the virus has blossomed into full-blown shingles, Dr. Carter uses antiviral medicines and pain relievers to alleviate the pain. She’ll usually prescribe antiviral medication as soon as a person experiences early symptoms and before rashes develop. Topical creams will be used to decrease skin inflammation.

If you have any of the symptoms of shingles, and you had chicken pox as a child, don’t hesitate to call us at Deschutes, 541-330-0900.