What Causes Warts?
Warts are caused by any of over 100 different strains of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infects tiny cuts in the skin. The infection grows in the skin, and a wart is the result. But, that’s not the only way you can get a wart. Warts are highly contagious, and can be spread by contact with a wart or by contact with an item that had contact with a wart. This means you can get a wart by touching one, or by stepping barefoot on a bathmat in a public showering facility, such as at a pool or gym.
How Can I Stop the Spread of Warts?
Many Houston area patients ask Dr. Perri how they can stop the spread of warts. The number one way to stop the spread of warts is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Always wear a bandage over a cut, no matter how small, to reduce the risk of an HPV infection. Don’t touch warts, or if you do, always wash your hands thoroughly before touching other areas of your skin. Never walk barefoot in public places that are warm and wet, such as the showers at the gym or a public pool, but instead wear rubber-soled flip-flops to protect your feet from plantar warts. Always wear your own socks, shoes and other articles of clothing. And never use someone else’s towel or razor after they have used it.
I Have a Wart. What Are My Wart Treatment Options?
If despite your best efforts to prevent them, you have contracted a wart, there are several wart treatment options available from Houston dermatologist Dr. Perri. First, before seeking a professional’s help, you may want to try home therapy with a solution such as Compound W, whose main ingredient is salicylic acid. Compound W is an over-the-counter solution that can be purchased in many Houston pharmacies. However, Compound W can take between 8 and 12 weeks to work, and it can’t be used by everyone. Children and teenagers with the flu, fever, or chickenpox, as well as pregnant or nursing women cannot use Compound W. Houston patients wanting faster wart treatment are advised to call Dr. Perri for an appointment.
Cryotherapy, also called cryosurgery, is a common, wart treatment option. With Cryotherapy, the wart is frozen with a liquid nitrogen spray. Cryotherapy usually needs to be repeated every 4 weeks until the wart is gone.