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General Information: Warts

What causes warts?

Warts are harmless skin growths caused by a virus. Warts can grow on any part of the body. Their appearance depends on their location. On the face and tops of the hands, warts are raised. On the soles of the feet the tissue becomes thickened from the pressure of standing and the warts (called plantar warts) are flatter. Walking on plantar warts is often painful. Warts have a rough surface on which tiny, dark dots can often be seen

Warts are common and can be a nuisance. They may bleed if injured. Common warts never turn cancerous. Since warts arc caused by a virus, they are contagious. Warts may spread on the body or to other children. We don't know why some persons get warts while others never get them. There is no way to prevent warts.

People have been trying to cure warts for thousands of years. The "success" of folk remedies for warts is because warts often disappear by themselves, especially in young children. This spontaneous disappearance is not as common in older children and adults.

There is no single perfect treatment of warts, since we are unable to kill the wart virus. Treatment consists of destroying the outer layer of skin that the wart grows on, and thus ridding the body of the wart. This can be done with chemicals, by freezing with liquid nitrogen, or with laser surgery.

The treatment to be used on your wart depends on their location and size, your type of skin, and the judgment of the doctor. Sometimes new warts will form while existing ones are being destroyed. All we can do is treat the new warts when they become large enough to be seen.

No matter what treatment is used, warts occasionally fail to disappear. Warts may return weeks or months after an apparent cure. Don't be concerned if a wart recurs, just call to make an appointment for further therapy. The treatment may be repeated, or a different method may be used to remove the warts.

Medications used at ADSCI:
• Liquid Nitrogen
• Canthacur PS
• Condylox Gel
• Mediplast Pads (40% Salicylic Acid)
• Occlusal HP or Duofilm - These have "super-glue" in them to stick well to the wart.
• 5-fluorouracil
• Imiquimod (Aldara)
• Bleomycin

Wart Home Treatment Instructions:

1. Purchase Duofilm, Occlusal HP, or Mediplast at your favorite pharmacy. They are over-the-counter (OTC) medications.

2. Following your daily bath, shower, or 20 minute soak, lightly dab the area dry.

3. Apply a small amount of the prescribed medication to the area. If the area is very tiny, use a toothpick. Immediately cover the area with an     occlusive tape such as a plastic surgical tape, duct tape, or common household electrical tape.

4. During your next bath, shower or soak, gently remove the white, dead appearing skin off with a pumice stone, file, or cuticle scissors. Do this     gently.  Do not remove too much or it may bleed. If in doubt, remove less, not more. A pumice stone can be obtained at your favorite     pharmacy.

5. Repeat this on a daily basis until all evidence of wart tissue is gone. At that point, continue applying the medication for one week.

6. Should you have any pain, problems or difficulty with this, please call the office.



ADSCI - Advanced Dermatology Skin Cancer Institute Linage Dermatology Linage Skin Care