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Warts

Did you know that warts are caused by a virus that infects the top layer of the skin? Those flesh-colored skin growths are actually a sign that the human papillomavirus, commonly known as HPV, has come in contact with the skin. When the virus invades, it triggers a rapid growth of skin cells on the outer layer. Because the underlying cause is a virus, warts are highly contagious. Luckily, they are benign. They are an unsightly nuisance, but not an indication of skin cancer or a more serious affliction.

Warts can appear on anyone, anywhere. However, some people are more susceptible to contracting the wart virus. Children and teens, people who bite or their nails or pick at their nails, and people with a compromised immune system are more likely to see a wart grow on their skin. Why? An opening in the skin makes it easier for the virus to enter. Children, who are prone schoolyard cuts and scrapes, and people with rough, bitten down nails have inviting portals for the virus to pass through. In addition, if the body’s natural defenses are down (a compromised immune system), it makes it harder to fight the virus.

Although warts can appear anywhere on the body, they are most commonly found on the fingers, hands, and feet. After the initial exposure to the virus, it can take a few months for a growth to be visible. However, Dr. Senait Dyson cosmetic dermatologist in Tucson, AZ recommends that if you notice a wart appearing, it is best to act quickly and treat it immediately. By doing so, you can prevent them from spreading. If left untreated, it will be more difficult to control them. If you have a wart that hurts, will not go away, or have you have many, you see a dermatologist to have them removed.

Types of Warts

Wart Treatment

Removal procedures vary, depending on the type of wart being treated.

  • Cryotherapy: This is a popular method for removing common warts. The war is frozen with liquid nitrogen. More than one treatment may be necessary to completely remove the wart.
  • Electrosurgery: The wart is burned and then scraped off with a sharp knife or small spoon-shaped tool.
  • Laser: Laser light energy is used to burn the wart tissue.
  • Excision: The wart is cut out in a minor surgical procedure.
  • Topical treatments: For stubborn warts, prescription strength topical treatments are available. However, they are not a quick or effective as other methods of removal.

If you have or suspect you have warts, contact Dyson Dermatology at (520) 838-0777 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Dyson, a trusted skin doctor in Tucson, Arizona.

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