Wart Treatment St. Louis
Warts, a prevalent skin condition, can be a source of discomfort and concern. At Mid-County Dermatology in St. Louis, MO, we understand the impact these growths can have on your confidence and well-being. That's why we offer a range of effective wart treatment options tailored to meet your unique needs.
Our experienced team specializes in the diagnosis and removal of various types of warts, from common warts to plantar warts, periungual warts to genital warts. We know that each case is different, and we take the time to assess your condition thoroughly, considering factors such as location, severity, and your individual medical history.
With our expertise and advanced techniques, we provide safe and highly effective wart removal procedures.
Our website offers a wealth of information about wart treatment, including common causes, diagnostic procedures, and various treatment options. We encourage you to explore our resources and schedule a consultation to discuss your specific concerns.
What are warts?
Warts are non-cancerous skin growths that occur when a virus infects the outer layer of the skin. These growths are caused by a virus known as human papillomavirus (HPV).
What causes warts?
Warts are caused by a viral infection of the skin, specifically by the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV can enter the body through cuts or breaks in the skin and typically thrives in warm, moist environments. It is a contagious virus and can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected person or by touching surfaces that have come into contact with the virus. Warts can appear on various parts of the body and are commonly found on the hands, fingers, feet, and genitals. Different strains of HPV can cause different types of warts, such as common warts, plantar warts, flat warts, and genital warts.
What do warts look like?
Warts are usually skin-colored and have a rough texture, but they can also be dark in color (brown or gray-black), flat, and smooth.
What are the different types of warts?
Common warts, also known as verruca vulgaris, have the following characteristics:
They commonly appear on the fingers, around the nails, and on the backs of the hands.
They are more common in areas where the skin has been damaged, like from nail biting or picking at hangnails.
Some common warts may have black dots resembling seeds, often called "seed" warts.
They typically feel rough and raised, like bumps on the skin.
Foot warts, also known as plantar warts, possess the following characteristics:
They primarily develop on the soles of the feet.
They can grow in clusters, forming mosaic warts.
Often, they have a flat appearance or grow inward due to pressure from walking.
They can cause discomfort, giving the sensation of having pebbles in your shoe.
Some foot warts may exhibit black dots.
Flat warts traits:
- Occur anywhere on the body. Children: face. Men: beard area. Women: legs.
- Smaller and smoother than other warts.
- Grow in large numbers, 20-100 at a time.
Filiform warts possess the following traits:
- They have a thread-like or finger-like appearance that protrudes.
- Commonly found on the face, particularly around the mouth, eyes, and nose.
- They tend to grow rapidly.
Periungual warts are warts that develop around the nails of fingers or toes. They start as small lesions and gradually expand into larger bumps resembling a cauliflower. These warts can be painful as they grow beneath the nail bed, leading to cuticle deformity and nail infections. Nail biting can contribute to their spread, even to the mouth.
Genital warts are caused by HPV, a sexually transmitted infection. They start as small bumps and can grow larger, resembling cauliflower. Certain strains of HPV can lead to cervical cancer in women and penile or anal cancer in men. Genital warts are highly contagious. Vaccines are now available for children to protect against HPV. The two commonly used vaccines are Gardasil and Cervarix.
Who gets warts?
Warts can affect anyone, but certain individuals are more prone to the wart virus (HPV).
- Children and teenagers.
- People who bite their nails or pick at hangnails.
- Individuals with a weakened immune system.
In children, warts often go away without treatment. However, it is recommended to consult our dermatology team if warts cause pain, discomfort, or grow rapidly.
How are warts diagnosed?
Our St. Louis dermatologists can diagnose warts by visual examination in most cases. In rare instances, a skin biopsy may be necessary for confirmation. If a biopsy is required, our dermatologists will remove a small portion of the wart and send it to a lab for microscopic analysis.
How are warts treated?
Warts are a common concern for many individuals due to their pain, unsightly appearance, and contagious nature. They have the potential to spread to other family members or even reinfect oneself. However, treating warts can be a challenging process, especially when conventional treatments prove ineffective and a more aggressive approach is required. The treatment duration can be prolonged, and certain warts may be particularly difficult to treat due to a slow immune response to the HPV virus.
Salicylic acid treatment is a common option for wart removal. Prescription-strength salicylic acid can be prescribed by a dermatologist or salicylic acid plasters with a higher concentration can be recommended. Soaking the warts in warm water and filing down the dead skin before applying the patch is often advised. This treatment can take several months to completely remove the wart.
Cryotherapy involves freezing warts with liquid nitrogen, but it can be a painful treatment that requires multiple sessions. There is also a risk of scarring or hypopigmentation.
Cantharidin (beetle juice) is a chemical applied by a dermatologist to the wart and bandaged for 24 hours. It causes the wart to blister, and after removing the dead skin, additional applications may be necessary.
Imiquimod, also known as Aldara, is an immunotherapy agent that enhances the immune response. It is effective for recalcitrant warts and is commonly used to treat genital warts as well.
Surgical excision is usually done when other treatments have been ineffective. A sample of the wart is taken for evaluation and the remaining warts are surgically removed.
If you're worried about the appearance of warts and home remedies haven't provided the desired relief, there's a solution to help you remove them. Contact Mid-County Dermatology in St. Louis, MO at 314-994-0200 or reach us online today. Let our St. Louis dermatology team assist you with the best wart treatment options tailored to your needs.