Warts

Everything You Need to Know About Common Warts

Blog Introduction: Common warts are small, benign growths on the skin caused by a virus in the human papillomavirus (HPV) family. Although they are usually harmless, common warts can be unsightly and embarrassing for some people. If you think you may have a wart, it’s important to know how to properly diagnose and treat them. Let’s take a closer look at common warts and how to get rid of them.

What Do Common Warts Look Like?

Common warts can appear anywhere on the body, but they most commonly occur on hands and feet. They often have a rough texture with a distinct “seed-like” appearance that comes from small clotted blood vessels. Warts range in color from flesh-colored to grey or brown and can be as small as a pinhead or up to 1 cm in diameter.

How Are Common Warts Diagnosed?

If you suspect you have a common wart, it’s best to make an appointment with your doctor or dermatologist for confirmation. Your doctor may use an ultraviolet light or other imaging techniques to confirm the diagnosis before beginning treatment. It’s also important to note that not all growths are warts; some may be moles or skin tags, which require different treatments.

How Are Common Warts Treated?

Many people choose to have their warts treated by a doctor because home treatments just aren't working. Here are the most common treatment methods:

  • Salicylic Acid: This is one of the most commonly used treatments for common warts because it is readily available over-the-counter at any pharmacy. Salicylic acid works by burning away the wart tissue until it eventually falls off. It can be used as a single treatment or in combination with other treatments such as cryotherapy and laser therapy. 
  • Cryotherapy: For more stubborn warts, cryotherapy—or freeze therapy—may be an option. During this procedure, liquid nitrogen is applied directly to the wart in order to freeze it off from its root. This method is usually quite successful in treating warts and does not require any downtime or recovery time afterwards; however, it can cause some discomfort during and after the treatment process due to its freezing nature. As such, cryotherapy may not be suitable for everyone who has warts.
  • Laser Therapy: Laser therapy is another option that uses focused beams of light to target and destroy wart tissue without damaging surrounding healthy skin cells. It typically requires multiple sessions in order to be effective, but most people find that their results last much longer than those achieved with other treatments such as cryotherapy or salicylic acid. 
  • Surgical Removal: In cases where neither topical treatments nor cryotherapy works, surgical removal may be necessary to get rid of stubborn warts. This procedure involves numbing the area around the wart and then cutting it out with a scalpel or laser device.

Common warts are typically harmless but can be unsightly and uncomfortable for some people. If you think you may have one, it’s best to visit your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment options that fit your individual needs. With the right care, common warts can go away quickly and safely, leaving clear, healthy skin behind! Contact us to learn more about treatment.

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