Wart viruses live within the skin cells, and turn on the the replication mechanism of the cells in order to reproduce themselves. Warts are not an entirely infectious phenomenon, but rather an opportunistic development. When the natural state of the surface of the skin -- the dead layer, so-called the stratum corneum -- is altered, or if there is an alteration or an aberration of the immune cells that home within the skin, warts take the opportunity, and develop. Prolonged exposure to sweat, water, or cleaners that dissolve away the fatty and protein molecules that make up our skin are the most common factors that promote development of warts.

At Brentwood Dermatology, Dr. Silvers takes a history about skin care and exposure to chemicals that could promote the development of warts, and then, chooses a treatment option from a wide array of treatment options.

How Do I Know If I Truly Have a Wart Or Something Else?

Warts have a typical rough surface. The dot clotted blood crust on the surface of the growth is usually diagnostic.

Over 100 types of wart viruses have been identified. Different wart viruses can take on different appearances on different areas of the body. Each wart virus type prefers a certain temperature and humidity. The diagnostic blood crust dot may not be present on flat warts or genital warts.

How Many Kinds of Warts Are There?

The most commonly encountered warts are:

  • Common warts:Usually appear on the hands, and chronically sun exposed areas.
  • Foot warts or plantar warts:Occur on the soles of the feet, and may cause discomfort.
  • Flat warts:Usually found on the face, arms or legs.They are small, and have flat smooth tops.
  • Genital warts:Found on the pubic, genitals, and perianal areas.

Must Warts Be Treated?

There is no proven medical reason to treat non-genital warts. Warts are more commonly encountered among family members, but that phenomenon may be purely genetically determined, as opposed to a contagious infectious process. if a person is self-conscious of the appearance of the wart, even when that is not overtly expressed, that matter can impact his mindset and social interactions. We do not know definitively whether having one wart could set the stage for having more, or not.

Do Warts Ever Reappear?

Yes. Warts can reappears even years after they have completely disappeared, sometimes at he very site that they initially were present. Dr. Silvers goes over skin care, and factors that impact the function of the immune cells to reduce the likelihood of the reoccurrence of warts.

Treatment of Warts

Treatment of warts is highly individualized. We can offer you a number of treatment options with great cure rate and no permanent scar, however, at this time,no single treatment has 100% permanent cure rate. Regular monthly treatments for a few times, as opposed to spread out occasional treatments, will more likely result in a cure rate with less number of treatment sessions at he end. Sometimes different treatment modalities need to be employed to clear the warts.

There are different methods to treat warts such as anesthetized and then scraped (curetted); burned (desiccated); lasered off; or surgically cut out (excised). Among different methods, perhaps the most useful and convenient method for treating warts in almost any location is cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen. For genital warts, application of podophyllin solution is moderately effective but may be associated with marked local reactions in certain individuals.

Common treatments are:

  • Liquid nitrogen:Burning them off with liquid nitrogen, which very cold. It kills the virally infected cells, and detaches the wart from the underlying skin.
  • Over the counter topical medications:Salicylic acid preparation.
  • Scraping off the wart:Dr. Silvers numbs the skin, scrapes off the wart with a surgical tool, and applies an acid at he base to reduce the rate of recurrence.
  • Blistering agent for warts on the soles:Dr. Silvers preps the skin and applies a naturally occurring compound to induce a microscopic blister to detach the wart.

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