Is That a Wart?

General Dermatology West Orange, NJWe tend to have no problem at all talking about our lines and wrinkles, moles that look suspicious, even our pimples. But warts. These little growths are somewhat taboo. We don’t want to admit to our friends and loved ones that we may have one. Warts are pretty common; just about every one of us has had one or will get one at some point in life. We need to get over the idea that warts mean we’re not as hygienic as we should be. The more we know, the better we can manage, right?

Here’s What You Need to Know

  1. A wart isn’t a wart isn’t a wart. Having a wart just means you have a growth that originated with the human papillomavirus, or HPV. There are more than 100 different kinds of warts. Fortunately, most are pretty innocent, except for their unsightly appearance.
  2. The area where a wart develops may help identify its type. This is because the strain of HPV that causes one type of wart, say a genital wart, does not cause other types of warts on other parts of the body.
  3. Warts are relatively hard to get. If you find yourself without your shower shoes at the gym, there’s no need to forego your post work-out spritz. By the time we reach adulthood, the body’s immunity is better able to resist exposure that could lead to warts. Genital warts are the exception.
  4. You could spread your warts without thinking. If you do get a wart, and you find yourself inadvertently picking at it, you stand the chance of giving yourself another one. This risk is reduced by covering an existing wart with a band-aid to prevent picking. Obviously, you need to also treat the wart to resolve the issue and the risk of spreading.

Treating Warts

Perhaps the most important question about warts is how to treat them. In most situations, it is acceptable to treat a wart with an over-the-counter product. Wart products containing salicylic acid may work even better than those at-home freezing treatments sold in stores.

If improvement is not seen within a few weeks, schedule a consultation in our West Orange dermatology office. Wart treatment may include freezing with liquid nitrogen, medication, or excision (in tough cases.)

For care that counts, call our New Jersey practice at (973) 243-2300.

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