Warts are a common problem for both children and adults. We see them more commonly in children, but any age can be affected. Common warts are causes by a type of HPV (Human Papillomavirus), which does not carry a risk of cancer.
The virus is contagious and you are more likely to catch it when you have damaged skin. Examples of this include dry, cracked skin, or traumatized cuticles. Skin which is constantly wet is more susceptible to infection also. Taking care to wear shoes in public places, keeping skin moisturized and good hand-washing habits are all excellent prevention, but unfortunately not fool-proof.
Often a wart will go away on its own, given enough time. Factors such as discomfort, spreading lesions or cosmetic concerns will bring a patient in to have a wart treated. In the office we can perform cryotherapy to the areas, to help your body’s immune system notice the wart virus and fight it off. This can also be achieved with a topical application we lovingly call “Beetle Juice”. This medication is derived from a South American blister beetle, and causes a controlled irritation to the area of the wart. For larger lesions or more challenging locations such as the bottom of the foot, multiple in-office treatments may be required at two week intervals. The skin maybe be tender or form a blister after treatment, which should be handled gently. Once the irritation from treatment is manageable, an over-the- counter treatment can be applied to best continue the irritation that is needed for cure.