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I'm Embarrassed About My Warts

Flat and rough, clustered, polka-dotted, or cauliflower-like, warts come in many shapes and sizes. But despite their variety, they all stem from the same cause — infection by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Children, because their immune systems are underdeveloped, tend to be particularly susceptible to warts and about one-third of all kids have them at one time or another.  

Anywhere there’s a break in the skin from a minor cut or scrape, HPV can sneak in and set up camp. You may not have noticed the tiny injury and probably don’t remember it, as it can take up to eight months for warts to develop after the virus has entered the wound.

Sometimes warts can disappear on their own, but more commonly they do not resolve unless treated.  There are several over-the-counter treatments that may help reduce them, but if those don’t work, it’s time to get professional help. Dr. Mathew Mittelbronn, our experienced dermatologist at Lakeview Dermatology in Lake Worth, Texas, can eradicate your stubborn warts with effective medical treatments. 

What kind of wart do you have?

There are more than 100 different types of warts, and each has slightly different characteristics. The most common types of warts are:

Verruca vulgaris (common wart)

Although common warts can show up anywhere on your body, they’re most likely to appear on your hands, elbows, and knees. They look like tiny heads of cauliflower with a raised, bumpy surface. Sometimes, common warts get pin-point-sized black dots that resemble seeds. In actuality, these are not seeds of any sort, but instead are tiny clotted blood vessels within the wart.

Plantar and palmar warts

If you have warts on the soles of your feet (plantar) or the palms of your hands (palmar), you may mistake them for calluses because they share a similar firm, flattened appearance. They are usually single warts about the size of a pencil eraser, but they can also grow in clusters called mosaic warts.

Filiform warts

Filiform warts are fast-growing, brush-like spikes that tend to sprout up around your upper face, armpits, and neck. Because the skin in these places is delicate, filiform warts can be bothersome and tough to treat. 

Flat or plane warts

The most likely wart to disappear on its own, the flat wart, sometimes called a plane wart, is smooth, slightly raised, and, as its name suggests, flat. These are usually multiple and found in groups. You may notice these on your face, legs, the back of your hand, or in other places where your skin is often exposed to the sun. 

Subungual and periungual warts

Warts can grow just about anywhere, even under your fingernails and toenails, and around your cuticles. These warts look like common warts and are especially common in people who bite their nails. 

Genital warts

A symptom of a sexually transmitted disease, genital warts can be so small that you don’t realize you have them, or grow larger in flesh-colored, spongy clusters. Like all warts, these are caused by one of the many strains of HPV.

How to get rid of warts

Dr. Mittelbronn treats all types of warts and can get rid of tough warts that don’t respond to at-home remedies. Here are a few of the professional-grade treatments that he uses to banish your warts for good.

The best treatment depends on the type, size, and location of your warts. Dr. Mittelbronn discusses your options with you.

How to prevent warts

The best way to avoid warts or prevent them from spreading is to practice good hygiene. Here are some tips:

While there’s no guarantee these steps will keep you wart-free, they certainly give you an advantage. If, despite these measures, you end up with an embarrassing wart, call us at Lakeview Dermatology to schedule a consultation today.

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