What is a wart?
Warts are a skin condition that is caused by the human papillomavirus. Warts, while they can affect anyone, are usually found on children. Once the virus enters the skin, the skin grows very quickly around it, causing that little imperfection known as a wart. Although warts are not medically harmful, they may cause some pain and discomfort.
There are many varying types of warts:
• Plantar warts – found on the soles of your feet.
• The common wart – mostly found on the hands but do commonly grow on other areas of the body
• Periungual wart – are found underneath the finger and toenails.
• Facial warts – also known as flat warts and can also be found on the arms and legs.
• Filiform wart – are often found in beard areas and around the nose and mouth.
While most warts will disappear by themselves, it may take months or even years. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you speak to your Doctor regarding wart treatment as soon as a wart appears. Treating warts in their early stages reduces the likelihood of reinfecting yourself, and the spread of the wart to others.
There are a number of wart treatment options available at Main Street Medical and Skin Centre:
• Cryotherapy: the application of a very cold substance, usually liquid nitrogen, to the affected area. This is the most common form of wart treatment, as it is a simple quick treatment, and doesn’t leave a scar. It should be noted however, that more than one treatment is often required.
• Electrosurgery (Curettage and Cautery): is often used for large and annoying warts. Under local anaesthesia, the growth is surgically removed, and the base burned by diathermy, or cautery. This treatment is very effective, but will leave a small scar. Large planter warts on the soles of the feet are often best treated with this method.
• Laser treatment: is an option for those who have very stubborn warts that do not respond to other treatments. Laser treatment works by specifically targeting the tiny blood vessels that feed the wart, causing the vessels to shut down and subsequently the wart drying up and falling off. The number of treatments required depends on the location and the size of the wart. Simple, small warts may only need 1 treatment; larger warts may need 3 – 4 treatments at 2 week intervals.
If you have a wart and would like to have it removed, call us on 9738 8873 to make an appointment with one of our doctors.