Warts And Wart Removal Surgery in Dallas, Texas
What is a Wart?
A wart is a common but irritating skin growth that can appear anywhere on the skin, including on the feet, face, legs, and genitals. Depending on where the growth appears, your dermatologist may recommend one or more of the wart treatment options below.
What Causes Warts?
Warts occur when skin cells are infected with a virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). There are many different strains of HPV, which can cause warts to appear in different areas of the body. In some cases, HPV can be sexually transmitted and could lead to certain genital cancers in addition to causing genital warts. The more common types of skin warts–which are found on the feet, hands, and other non-genital areas of the body–are also caused by strains of HPV.
While everyone comes into contact with HPV at some point or another, not everyone develops warts. This is thought to be due to differences in our immune systems. It is believed that those with certain immune system abnormalities may be more vulnerable to developing warts.
Available Wart Treatment Options at Dermatology Treatment and Research Center
In some cases, laser wart removal surgery or traditional wart removal surgery may be used when a wart is not treatable with other options. During wart removal surgery, the base of the wart is removed using cryotherapy freezing, electric needling, or intense light beams (lasers).
Cryotherapy (Wart Freezing)
A procedure called cryotherapy can be used to freeze off the wart completely. The procedure is generally performed in your doctor’s office and can be uncomfortable during the freezing process.
Prescription Wart Medications
Medications can be injected into the wart or applied topically to the area to kill the virus causing the wart. These medications may include bleomycin and imiquimod–among others.
Over-The-Counter Wart Medications
Over-the-counter options may also be recommended by your dermatologist to effectively remove your wart. These come in ointments, pads, gels, or other forms and usually contain salicylic acid that dissolves the wart tissues. Because the dissolving process is gradual, it could take several applications and a longer period of time to see full results.
How long does it take to get rid of warts?
For some people, the immune system will develop a response to the wart, and it will eventually fall off on its own. This could take anywhere from a few months to over a year. However, if the wart does not go away on its own or you don’t like the appearance of the wart, you may opt to have it removed.
Depending on the kind of treatment you undergo for your warts, the time it will take for the wart to completely heal varies. In general, you can expect the following healing times for warts according to the treatment:
- Wart removal surgery usually takes less than 1-2 weeks for the wart to blister and fall off after surgical removal.
- Cryotherapy/Wart freezing usually heals within 1-2 weeks but could require more than one treatment.
- Prescription wart medications often take 2-3 weeks for the wart to blister and fall off. Multiple treatments may be needed.
- Over-the-counter wart medications generally take several weeks to completely get rid of the wart. Timing varies depending on the treatment type and the number of treatments needed.
How do you stop warts from spreading?
Most dermatologists will recommend several tips to help you prevent spreading warts from person to person. Your dermatologist can give you a complete list of tips for preventing spreading warts. In general, try the following:
- Do not pick at your wart
- Always wear shoes in public if your wart is on your foot
- Keep the wart dry as much as possible
- Do not allow anyone to touch your wart (except your dermatologist or caregiver)
- Do not scratch your wart
Can you cut off a wart?
Never attempt to cut a wart off. Not only can it lead to further injury, but it can also allow the wart to spread. Always seek the guidance of your dermatologist if you have a wart that you want to remove. Your dermatologist can provide you with a number of different treatment options that are both effective and safe.
How do you remove a dead wart?
The best way to remove excess dead skin from a wart that has been treated is by rubbing the area with a wet washcloth or a pumice stone. You can soak the affected area in warm water before scrubbing in order to soften the skin and make it easier to remove the dead skin. The skin should be soaked for about 5-10 minutes before scrubbing.
What Is the Best Method for Wart Removal?
The best and most common method for wart removal is cryotherapy. Because this treatment uses liquid nitrogen to freeze off warts, it is highly effective. Cryotherapy can cure 50% to 70% of warts after three to four treatments. While it may take several treatments before patients see complete wart removal, this method can provide great results in a short amount of time.
Prescription medications that contain salicylic acid are also a very common way to eliminate warts. However, this method has a bit slower process due to its topical application. It may take several weeks before complete wart removal is achieved.
What Is Healing After Wart Removal Like?
Depending on what time of wart removal treatment you undergo, healing after wart removal can vary. However, on average, most patients can expect to experience common side effects such as blistering, drying up, itching, and slight pain in the treated area before the wart falls off. Most side effects only last up to four to seven days, but some patients, especially those who undergo cryotherapy, can expect to fully heal within two weeks.
Do Warts Go Away On Their Own?
While some warts can go away without treatment, there are some warts that will not, or they may seem to disappear but may reappear on the skin at a different time. Some warts may also take months or even years to disappear on their own. For this reason, we recommend patients remove their warts as soon as they appear.
When Do You Need to See a Doctor About Warts?
While warts are typically benign and unharmful, they can be a nuisance and can cause constant discomfort. If you have tried over-the-counter wart treatments and noticed no improvement, professional removal may be needed. If your warts become painful or worsen over time, this is a tell-tale sign to seek out dermatological treatment for wart removal as soon as possible.
Schedule Your Wart Removal Consultation Today!
If you are interested in wart removal to get rid of an unwanted, stubborn wart, a consultation with an experienced dermatologist may be the first step towards helping restore the appearance and health of your skin.
At Dermatology Treatment and Research Center, our board-certified physicians hold expertise in clinical, cosmetic, and general dermatology and are ready to provide you with high-quality expert care in a friendly and compassionate atmosphere. Call 972.661.2729 or fill out the form on this page to book an appointment.