Dermatology and Aesthetics Center of Utah

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Learn About Warts

Warts can grow on everyone, but they’re most common in children and adolescents. An estimated 33% of adolescents have warts compared to 5% of adults. Amy Curtis, MD, FAAD, Leena Brown, MPT, PA-C, and the team at Dermatology and Aesthetics Center of Utah offer many different treatments for eliminating warts. If you need to get rid of unsightly or painful warts, call the office in Centerville or West Jordan, Utah, or request an appointment online today.

What causes warts?

Warts are skin growths that develop when the human papillomavirus (HPV) gets through a cut or sore on your skin. Your immune system can often fight off the virus, but if it takes hold, a wart grows. Warts are not cancerous, but they’re highly contagious, and some are painful.

What are the different types of warts?

The appearance and location of warts depend on the type. You may have:

Common warts

Common warts are rough and scaly and grow on the back of the hand, fingers, feet, and around your nails. They can range in size from barely visible to the size of a pea.

Plantar warts

These warts appear on the bottom of the feet. They tend to grow in clusters that can get quite large and can be painful.

Flat warts

Flat warts are small and smooth, but 20-100 can appear together in a large group. They usually appear on the forehead and cheeks.

Filiform warts

These warts resemble long threads and often have a spiky appearance. They most often grow on the face.

Do I need to seek treatment for warts?

Warts eventually go away on their own, but that can take months or longer. In the meantime, you can spread the virus to other people or other parts of your body.

You may also want to seek medical care if your warts are painful. Many people with warts on their face, hands, or other visible areas get wart removal for cosmetic purposes.

Another reason to seek medical treatment is that some skin cancers resemble warts. On the chance the lesion is not a wart, it’s important to have an examination from the skin cancer experts at Dermatology and Aesthetics Center of Utah.

How are warts treated?

After examining your wart and the surrounding skin, the team at Dermatology and Aesthetics Center of Utah recommends one of the following treatments:

  • Cantharidin, a topical chemical
  • Chemical peels to remove flat warts
  • Bleomycin, an injectable medicine
  • Electrosurgery and curettage to burn and scrape off the wart
  • Cryotherapy to freeze the wart
  • Excision to cut out the wart
  • Prescription medications, applied to the wart at home

Depending on the size and type of wart, you may need more than one treatment to eliminate the growth.

If you need treatment for a wart, call Dermatology and Aesthetics Center of Utah, or schedule an appointment online today.