Warts, small, harmless growths that appear most frequently on the hands and feet, can be uncomfortable and unattractive. Sometimes, they look flat and smooth, other times they have a dome-shaped or cauliflower-like appearance. Warts can be surrounded by skin that is either lighter or darker. If you are struggling with the appearance of these growths, our team at Glendale Dermatology in Queens, NY may be able to help.
What Is a Wart?
Skin warts are growths caused by different forms of Human Papillomavirus (HPV). They occur in people of all ages and can spread from person-to-person and from one part of the body to another. Despite their contagious nature, these growths are benign (noncancerous) and generally painless. They may disappear without any treatment. However, in most cases treating warts frequently requires several visits.
What Are the Different Types of Warts?
There are in fact, many different types of warts, usually classified by their location.
- Common – this wart variety can appear anywhere on the body, although they most often appear on the back of fingers, toes, and knees. These skin-colored, dome-shaped growths usually show up where the skin has been broken, such as around a scratch or bug bite. They can range in size from a pinhead to 10mm and may appear singly or in multiples.
- Filiform –this variety looks like a long, narrow, flesh-colored stalk that appears singly or in multiples around the eyelids, face, neck, or lips. They are sometimes called facial warts. They may cause itching or bleeding, but are easy to treat with over-the-counter medications.
- Flat (plane) – these growths typically appear on the face and forehead. They are flesh-colored or white, with a slightly raised, flat surface and they usually appear in multiples. Flat warts are more common among children and teens than adults.
- Genital – These appear around the genital and pubic areas. It is also possible to get genital warts inside the vagina and anal canal or in the mouth as well. These lesions start small and soft but can become quite large over time and often grow in clusters. They are both sexually transmitted and highly contagious. In fact, it is recommended you generally avoid sex with anyone who has a visible genital wart. Genital warts should always be treated by a physician.
- Plantar – These appear on the soles of the feet and can be painful since they are on weight-bearing surfaces. They have a rough, cauliflower-like appearance and may have a small black speck in them. They often appear in multiples and may combine into a larger wart called a mosaic wart. Plantar warts can spread rapidly.
- Subungual and periungual – These appear as rough growths around the fingernails and/or toenails. They start as nearly undetectable, pin-sized lesions and grow to pea-size with rough, irregular bumps with uneven borders. Subungual and periungual warts can impede healthy nail growth. Because of their location, they are difficult to treat and generally require medical attention.
Treatment for Warts
Treatments for these growths that we at Glendale Dermatology can assist you with include:
- Cryotherapy, which freezes the wart using liquid nitrogen.
- Electrosurgery, which involves treatment of the wart with electrodesiccation after local anesthesia has been administered.
- Laser therapy, which treats the wart with a laser-based energy device.
- Nonprescription freezing products (dimethyl ether), aerosol sprays that freeze warts.
- Salicylic acid preparations, which dissolve the protein (keratin) that makes up the wart and the thick layer of skin that covers it. It comes in gels, pads, drops, and plasters and takes 4 to 6 weeks to treat the wart.
You can often treat a wart at home, but if a wart is causing pain, showing changes in color or appearance, or is a genital wart, contact Dr. Brezel immediately.
Wart Treatment in Queens, NY With Glendale Dermatology
If you are troubled by painful or unsightly warts and want to get rid of them safely and fast, we can help. Just submit our appointment form and someone will be in touch shortly to schedule a skin consultation where we can evaluate your condition and remove the growths in the most efficient way possible.