Warts - Treatment and Prescriptions

What is Warts?

Warts are a harmless, yet highly contagious, growth on one’s skin that’s caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). They’re fairly common because all it takes is skin to skin contact, like shaking hands, to pass it on. Having skin warts might not put your life in danger, but it still might be inconvenient and embarrassing to have. If it bothers you, a dermatologist can take care of it right away, and they’re simple to treat so you don’t have to worry about having them for a long time. There are over 100 different subtypes of HPV, and subsets of them can be generalized into general type of wart:
  • Common warts
  • Plantar warts (foot warts)
  • Flat warts
  • Filiform warts
  • Periungual warts
  • Genital warts
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Photos


Wart growing on a patient's finger. Warts are growths on your skin caused by an infection with human papillomavirus or HPV. Multiple Planters Warts on a patient's foot. They form on the parts of the foot that support the most weight. It is caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) Common Wart growing on a finger.
Common warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). There are many different types of warts. Multiple Common Warts growing on a hand.
Common warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). There are many different types of warts. Common Wart growing on a finger.
Common warts are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). There are many different types of warts.

Symptoms

The look and location on parts of the body differ between the general types.
  • Common warts – round, rough, small bumps usually on hands or fingers
  • Plantar warts (foot warts) – small lumps and grainy with black dots on the soles of the feet
  • Flat warts – small, raised, round or oval bump with a smooth top
  • Filiform warts – long, brush like growth around the face
  • Periungual warts – cauliflower-like clusters around the fingernails
  • Genital warts – smooth, cauliflower-like, or rough and dark growths around the genitals

Causes

The causes of each type are all similar. Any subtype of HPV virus is transmitted through skin to skin contact, and that virus creates warts in locations and symptoms specific to the type of virus. Here are some factors that could make the virus flare out:
  • Compromised immune system
  • Wounds

Treatment

There might be over 100 types of HPV, but treating the warts resulting from them is relatively simple. Preventing growth and taking off layers are among the best topical treatment solutions to remove a wart.

Home Remedies

While home remedies have taken on popularity, there are little to no studies confirming the effectiveness of such treatments. In some cases, it might even do more harm than good considering their minimal effectiveness versus the unknown side effects they could have on your body. It’s best to follow the medical advice of a dermatologist because they know what will or will not treat the disease. Here are some popular home remedies that you should be careful with:
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Garlic extract

Over the Counter Medication

While some over the counter (OTC) medications are effective enough to be given as prescriptions, other OTC medications have limited effects on disease. They might help for mild to moderate cases, but they aren’t usually effective on severe ones. If used incorrectly and without guidance, they might even prove to be ineffective and produce unforeseen side effects. However, a dermatologist can tell you whether or not these can be effective for you. Here are some OTC medications that may or may not be included in a treatment plan given by one of our dermatologists:
  • Salicylic acid - Applying the salicylic acid exfoliates off skin layers until it's gone.

Prescription

Prescriptions, alongside professional medical advice, are the most effective form of treatment. Home remedies and over the counter treatments take plenty of time, energy, and money, yet are uncertain to work. Our experienced dermatologists take your unique skin, set of symptoms, and medical history into account to take the guessing game out of your road to recovery. Here are some prescriptions your dermatologist might include in your personalized treatment plan:
  • Salicylic acid - Applying the salicylic acid exfoliates off skin layers until it's gone.
  • Bleomycin - Kills cells which stops growth.
  • Imiquimod - Stimulates the immune system against warts and skin cancers.
Our dermatologists have resolved countless wart cases with medications and treatment plans that are proven to clear your warts once and for all. Trust dermatologists, the experts on warts.
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Post Treatment Prevention

After being seen by one of our SkyMD dermatologists, you’ve been equipped with the treatment plan and prescription(s) to treat your discomfort. However, disease can be persistent, so you have to be too. A skin care routine and a set of disease-preventing habits recommended by our dermatologists are essential for long term prevention. Here are some popular prevention strategies that could supplement your personalized treatment plan:
  • Keep dry
  • Don’t touch or pick

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