The Woodlands Warts Treatment – Dermatologist Anthony J. Perri, M.D.
Give yourself an honest answer to this question: what do you think about warts? Do you think they’re unsightly, embarrassing, and dangerous? Many dermatologists that lean more toward the cosmetic end of the spectrum will tell you things like “they’re ugly”, “they could affect your social life”, or “you shouldn’t have to just live with imperfections like that on your body.” While you might agree with all of these statements, the truth is, while most warts are just harmless skin irregularities, they can sometimes develop into real causes for concern.
What Are Warts?
The Woodlands and Conroe patients often ask Dr. Perri how to identify warts. Skin warts are small, self-limited growths that occur most frequently on the fingers and hands, though they can appear throughout the body. They are generally rough to the touch and often feature a pattern of tiny black dots, though they can come in many different shapes, sizes, and colors. Most skin warts are not considered to be dangerous, though they can become painful and irritated. Common skin warts typically fall into one of five categories:
- Flat (Plane): This type often appears in large numbers on the face and legs as small, discolored bumps, though they can also appear on other parts of the body.
- Plantar: Found on the sole of the foot, this type of wart is generally flat compared to other types but can feel deep and cause pain while walking or standing.
- Dome-Shaped: This type appears as a dome-shaped mass and is usually found on the tops of toes, fingers, and knees.
- Filiform: This type of wart often appears on the face as a long single stalk.
- Periungual: This type of wart appears as a raised mass around and/or under the finger and toe nails.
What Causes Warts and How Can I Prevent Them?
Common warts are caused when your skin becomes infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are over 100 different strains of HPV, only a few of which cause warts on the hands, but the other types can cause warts to appear on other areas of your skin. Certain types of HPV can even infect the genital and oral mucous membranes, causing large and sometimes cancerous masses.
Warts are contagious and usually spread through breaks in the skin such as hangnails or scrapes. With patients in Conroe and The Woodlands, warts are usually contracted in the following ways:
- Skin-to-skin contact with people who have warts.
- By touching something that another person’s wart touched, such as exercise equipment or a towel.
- Biting your nails can cause warts to spread on your fingertips and around your nails.
- If you already have warts, by touching them then touching other areas of your body.
Because of the number of different HPV strains and each person’s immune system having a different response to each, not everyone who comes in contact with HPV will develop warts.
When Should I See a Dermatologist for My Warts?
Another common question is at what point someone should see a dermatologist for their warts. The Woodlands and Conroe patients are, of course, welcome to schedule an appointment with Dr. Perri whenever concerns about a wart arise, but you should definitely come in if any of the following are true:
- You aren’t certain if a skin growth is a wart.
- You’re over 60 and have never had warts before.
- You’ve tried non-prescription home treatments for 2-3 months without success.
- Your warts are spreading or growing rapidly in spite of treatment.
- You have signs of bacterial infection, such as increased pain, swelling, redness, tenderness, heat, red streaks stemming from the area, discharge of pus, or fever.
- You have a plantar wart that is too painful to walk on.
- You have diabetes or peripheral arterial disease and you require treatment for a leg or foot wart.
- You have warts around the anus or on your genitals.
How Are Warts Treated?
Many warts will go away on their own without treatment, however this can take up to 18 months and may not happen at all. There are a number of home treatments for warts, but, due to the myriad strains of HPV and the differing responses in people’s immune systems, these may or may not work for you. The best course is to see Dr. Perri, as his experience and knowledge can help him better identify the type of wart and match the treatment accordingly. Based on the type, Dr. Perri may recommend one or more of the following:
- Prescription Strength Salicylic Acid: This prescribed medication works by removing the wart layer by layer over time. Studies show this method to be more effective when combined with freezing.
- Freezing (cryotherapy): This treatment method involves applying liquid nitrogen to your wart, causing a blister to form under and around it. The dead wart tissue then sloughs off within a week or so.
Whether you simply want to get rid of warts because they’re causing you to be self-conscious, or you feel you have a reason for greater concern, Perri Dermatology offers flexible appointments and is committed to helping you get the resolution you want.
Concerned about skin warts? The Woodlands and Conroe dermatologist Dr. Anthony J. Perri and his staff are here to help. Call today for your appointment: The Woodlands – 281.943.2749 Conroe – 936.522.4966