Frequently Asked Questions About Warts
A wart is a small growth on the skin that is typically harmless and painless. However, while it might not be troublesome or worrisome, you may not like the appearance of the wart on your body. If you have a wart, you may have many questions about them. Getting answers to these questions will help you to better understand where they came from and how they can be treated.
How Do You Get Warts?
Contrary to old wives' tales, you do not catch warts from playing with frogs and toads. Warts are actually caused by the human papillomavirus. When this virus comes into contact with skin, a wart can form. This can occur anywhere on the body. However, it is easier for a wart to form if the skin is broken and comes into contact with the virus. Because of this, warts can typically be found in places where the skin may be break, such as around the fingers of a fingernail biter, on the face of a man or legs of a women who nicks themselves while shaving. As such, one of the best ways to minimize warts from forming is to not chew your fingernails and place a bandage over any open wounds you may have on the skin.
How Are Warts Treated?
If you have a wart that you would like to be removed, you will want to make an appointment with a dermatologist. A dermatologist can verify that your growth is a wart and treat the wart. There are different ways that warts can be treated, based on the location and size of the wart, as well as the patient's age and health. The ways a wart is treated include:
Cantharidin is a substance secreted from blister beetles. A dermatologist can coat your wart in this substance, which causes a blister to form under the wart. The blister prevents blood and other nutrients from reaching the wart, which causes it to die in about a week. Once it has died, your dermatologist can clip the dead skin away, removing any signs of the wart ever being present.
Cryotherapy involves freezing the wart, so that it dies. This is typically done with liquid nitrogen or carbon dioxide snow. Though this may sound painful, the area becomes numb as the wart is frozen, so you can't feel anything. The process is repeated multiple times until the wart eventually dies and falls off on its own. The amount of time this takes varies based on the size of the wart.
- Electrosurgery and Curettage
Electrosurgery and curettage are two different procedures, but they are commonly done at the same time for wart removal. Electrosurgery involves burning the wart tissue, causing it die immediately. Curettage involves cutting the wart out. When the above wart removal methods don't work, or a wart frequently comes back, these methods may be used to completely kill the wart and cut out any affected skin cells that cause the wart to return. Unfortunately, this method can leave behind scars, which is why it is a lesser-used method.
Why Do Warts Come Back?
Occasionally, a dermatologist may remove a wart and within a few weeks or months, you may see the wart reemerge. This can be frustrating and may leave you wondering why this is happening. As warts grow, they can affect the skin cells surrounding the area where the wart is present. Unfortunately, these skin cells are not always killed when the wart is killed. If the skin cells aren't killed, it is likely a new wart will grow. Treating an emerging wart quickly will help reduce the likelihood that the wart will have the time to spread. As such, contact a dermatologist for treatment as soon as you notice a small wart.
While warts may not be painful, they have a stigma attached to them. Many people associate warts with kissing frogs or witches, or worse, STDs. As such, if a wart is present on your body, you may just want it to go away. Learning where warts come from, how they are treated and why they come back will better help you to understand the importance of seeking treatment from a dermatologist in order to accomplish this goal. Contact a company like Petrin Dermatology Center for more information.