Are Warts Serious?

woman suffering from warts

There are no serious complications associated with warts, but treating them can help you prevent their spread and curb future outbreaks.

Common Causes

Warts are caused by HPV, the human papillomavirus. There are more than 100 different strains of HPV, and virtually everyone has been exposed to it at some point in their lives. Although all warts originate with HPV, they usually develop after contact with someone else who has warts.

Warts come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Some of the most common are plantar warts, which commonly appear on the soles of the feet or the heels. Warts can appear virtually anywhere and they usually cluster together as small, flesh-colored or gray bumps.

If left untreated, some warts have a tendency to spread throughout the body. Day-to-day direct contact with your own warts can contribute to the development of more warts. Many people seek out treatment to help them break this cycle and prevent transmission of warts to other.

Who is More Prone to Warts?

Warts are extremely contagious, so anyone who has been in contact with someone with warts is at increased risk. It is very common for warts to spread quickly among people who live and work in close contact: schools and small offices can be hotbeds for warts.

As a whole, children are more likely than adults to experience warts. Warts on the hands and the fingers are common for young children. These will tend to disappear on their own as children enter their adolescent years.

Many warts have no symptoms at all beyond their appearance. However, they can also emerge in places where skin sensitivity leads to irritation, itchiness, or even pain. In this situation, most patients prefer to have warts removed, rather than have them heal/disappear on their own.

Ways to Avoid Warts

Being aware of the transmission risk can minimize the likelihood of warts. If someone has warts, you should avoid direct contact with the skin growths and any discharge.

Ways to Treat Warts

There are several ways to treat warts, but it’s important to do so under the care of a dermatology expert. Many “over the counter” treatments can lead to severe scaring. Plus, they are not always successful in reducing the size or prevalence of warts.

There are two major treatment protocols for warts. Most commonly, they can be frozen in a procedure called cryotherapy. This usually uses liquid nitrogen and takes only about a minute. This causes the blister to scab or crust. In 4-7 days, the crust will break off and the wart will disappear.

Warts can also be removed with advanced medical lasers. Lasers are preferable to common surgical hand tools because they are much more precise. This facilitates the removal of the whole wart and limits the possibility of scarring.

When a particular wart is removed, it stays gone. However, there is always the chance that warts will recur in the future, particularly if you are re-exposed to someone with warts. With the help of your dermatologist, you can minimize the possibility of future outbreaks. To find out about wart treatment options, contact the experts at Hollywood Dermatology today to book an appointment.

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