Skin, Hair & Dermatology

Warts – Treatment Options

Warts are non-cancerous skin growths caused by a virus that infects the top layer of skin. The virus is contagious; warts can be spread through contact. Most warts are small, rough textured, skin colored bumps, but warts can also be flat and smooth.

What are the symptoms?

Most warts are known as “common warts.” They typically are the same color as your skin (though they may contain tiny black dots), they feel like rough bumps and most often appear on the face, fingers and hands. They are contagious and can be passed from the fingers to the face or other parts of the body. Warts also commonly appear on the feet; these are known as plantar warts.They can show up in clusters and they grow inward instead of outward. They can cause some discomfort to the feet as well.

How are they treated?

Fortunately, there are many different options when it comes to wart removal. Depending on the type and location of the wart, your dermatologist may choose to freeze it (cryotherapy), apply topical medications to induce blistering and shedding of the wart virus, or use injections into the wart to encourage the body’s own immune system to help destroy the virus. Resistant warts may also respond to lasers that destroy the blood vessel supply to the wart. Warts do occasionally go away on their own, but since they are caused by a virus in the body, they can also always come back — which is why it’s so important to have them treated by a dermatologist.