Specialists In Dermatology
located in The Woodlands, TX & Houston, TX
Warts are usually harmless skin growths that may eventually fade on their own. But when your warts spread, occur in a location that gets irritated frequently, or you’d just like them to go away, see the skin care professionals at Specialists in Dermatology. These expertly trained dermatologists have offices in Houston and The Woodlands, Texas, and offer a variety of treatments that can successfully remove your warts. Call today for an appointment or use their convenient online scheduling service.
What are warts?
Warts are skin growths caused by one of the many viruses covered under the human papilloma virus (HPV) umbrella which includes more than 100 different types of viruses. These viruses are attracted to the skin and enter through small cuts or abrasions in the outermost layer of your skin called the epidermis. A few of these viruses cause genital warts and require treatment by a urologist for men or a gynecologist for women.
Warts treated by the physicians at Specialists in Dermatology include:
- Common warts that often appear on your hands, fingers, knees, and elbows
- Plantar warts that grow on the soles of your feet
- Flat warts that tend to appear in areas that you shave, but also on your arms, face, and other areas
Are warts really contagious?
Yes. While it’s much more difficult to catch a wart than, say, a common cold, the virus can pass from person-to-person with close physical contact. More commonly, however, the virus is left behind on a washcloth, bath mat, or shower floor which enters your skin through a cut or other vulnerable area. Picking at a wart can also spread the wart virus to other areas of your body.
Another type of viral skin growth that’s also contagious and often mistaken for warts is molluscum contagiosum. Caused by a virus of the same name, these wart-like growths spread more easily than warts, may grow as large as a pencil eraser, and eventually, develop a dimple in the center. Your dermatologist may recommend treatment since you can develop up to 20 of these lesions with an outbreak, and it can take up to four years for this “rash” to fade on its own.
What are the treatments for warts and molluscum?
The most common treatment for removing either is cryotherapy, during which your doctor uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the growth. It may take several treatments and is not generally recommended for young children, but this treatment method usually results in the destruction of the wart or molluscum.
Other ways to remove these viral skin growths include:
- Curettage, or scraping them off with a sharp instrument
- Applying a chemical agent or cream, such as salicylic acid, tretinoin, or cantharidin to destroy the growth, causing it to form a blister, which your doctor can remove a few days later
- Laser treatments
- Chemical peels, which are especially helpful for flat warts