BOARD CERTIFIED & FELLOWSHIP TRAINED Medical Dermatology

Warts

Warts are common benign skin growths that can affect any part of the skin. They are often rough raised flesh-colored bumps, but may be smooth, flat and brown, tan, or white. Common warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and are more likely to occur in areas where the skin’s barrier has been damaged. They are more common in children and teens, in people who bite or pick at their nails, and in those with weakened immune systems. They are contagious and can spread through direct contact.

In children, warts often go away on their own, but this can take up to a few years. In adults, they may be more persistent. Warts are most frequently treated with destructive methods aimed at eliminated the virus particles. These treatments can include treatment with liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy), cantharadin, injected immune stimulators, laser, or excisional surgery, if warts are extremely large. Warts can be resistant to treatment and multiple treatment sessions are usually needed for therapeutic success.

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