Warts are a symptom of a benign, superficial viral infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV). The HPV virus is responsible for many common viral infections. Warts affect about 10% of Americans, affecting men and women alike.
Common warts are found on the hands and fingers, knee and elbows, but can also be found under and around the fingernails and toenails. Common warts are skin colored, rough and look like calluses, but they may contain black dots called seed warts. Warts on the fingers often result from a hang nail or broken skin that allows the virus to enter the body.
Common warts are slow growing and easily spread to other areas and to other people. Most common warts are harmless, but they are notoriously difficult to eradicate. Topical therapies can take at least three months to work and can be painful and rare cases disfiguring. Despite multiple treatment options there is no single recommended treatment.
Many warts respond to over the counter treatments like salicylic acid that kills the wart and activates the immune system to fight off the virus. Some small common warts may go away on their own. However, because they are contagious, they should be treated to prevent spreading to other parts of your body and to other people.
When over the counter treatments don’t work within a reasonable time, make an appointment with one of our dermatologists at Hudson Dermatology & Laser Surgery in Hudson Yards, New York City. The usual treatment for common warts is freezing with liquid nitrogen (Cryotherapy) or burning off the wart with a laser. Also, when you have a wart that is painful, enlarging, bleeding or spreading quickly, call us for an appointment.
Flat warts are more commonly found on the face, forehead, and where there is a scratch or break in the skin. Men get them where they shave, in the beard area, and women get them where they shave, the legs. Flat warts are usually flesh-colored, small and smooth and grow in large numbers. They are easily spread and tend to disappear without treatment, but this can take from two months to two years. Home treatments may work but can burn the skin or cause scarring. For this reason, it is best to see one of our dermatologists to treat these warts. Prescription creams include retinoic acid, Imiquimod cream, and Topical 5-FU.
Plantar warts are found on the bottom of the feet. They may appear as a single wart or in a cluster. They may look like a callus. Often, they look like a tiny black dot on the bottom of the foot. Frequently they start small and grow deep into the skin over time. They are painful when walking and standing or attempting to squeeze them. They are easily diagnosed by their appearance and often go away on their own. If you experience pain as a result of plantar warts, it’s recommended to consult your dermatologist. Our dermatologists treats plantar warts using topical and oral medication, lasers, cryotherapy or acid.
Any wart that grows larger, changes color or bleeds should alert you to see a dermatologist for a thorough evaluation. Hudson Dermatology & Laser Surgery is located in Hudson Yards and near Hell’s Kitchen, easily accessible to New Yorkers. Our leading dermatologists are also researchers who are recognized healthcare innovators and the “go to” dermatologists for celebrities. Our state-of-the-art facilities, and innovative and life changing services have transformed lives. You will always receive first class treatment in a private professional environment.