Warts 101: What Are They and What Can You Do About Them?
What does the word warts conjure up in your mind? Gross, embarrassing, and painful are just a few adjectives people use to describe these nasty growths. At some point in our lives, most of us have experienced the seeming injustice of carrying around this unwanted visitor. They are harmless, but the general consensus is that they need to go.
What Are Warts?
There are hundreds of types of viruses in the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) family that cause warts which are then named for the different parts of the body where they show up. There are five major types: common, plantar, flat, filiform, and periungual. Common warts are most often found on the hands. Plantar or foot warts are typically found growing into the soles of feet. Flat warts are found anywhere on the body and form in large numbers. Filiform warts cluster around the eyelids, nose, and mouth. Periungual warts are possibly the most painful of all the different types and are found growing under and around toenails and fingernails.
Can They Be Prevented?
Interestingly enough, children get these more easily than adults. Why is this? Warts gain easy access to the body through cuts in the skin and children are more susceptible as they scrape themselves frequently. They are also spread by physical contact from person to person or even through objects like towels that have come in contact with a wart. The best prevention, while not foolproof, is to avoid sharing slippers or towels in communal bath areas and refraining from picking or biting at cuticles or nails.
Are There Treatment Options?
While they can go away on their own, it can take a long time–sometimes years. People who prefer to tackle them on their own, use over-the-counter treatments like salicylic acid and freezing kits. Some even go as far as using duct tape to treat them. However, dermatologists have the most experience in dealing with warts and can use various treatments to give you better results.
If you are struggling with a skin problem in New Paltz and Highland and don’t know where to turn, call Dr. Weinman at Essence MediSpa and FirstCare Medical Center where we have multiple options to treat these and other skin growths.