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Treatment Options for Warts

Most people only think of a virus as a pathogen that causes colds, flu, and other illnesses. But it’s also the underlying cause of warts

In fact, all warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which has more than 150 strains. A few of those strains show up as growths on your skin. They can be either soft and fleshy or rough and grainy, but chances are you’d like to get rid of them.

When your unwelcome warts hang around too long, Dr. Matthew Mittelbronn at Lakeview Dermatology in Lake Worth, Texas, can remove them to restore your smooth, healthy skin. 

If you’ve tried treating your own warts and nothing seems to work, they begin to spread, or you just don’t like the way they look, come see us for treatment to help rid you of these unwanted lesions. 

Acid wart treatments

You can buy wart-removing solutions over the counter. These typically contain an agent called salicylic acid that causes your skin to peel and your wart to fall off. But in many cases, it may not do the trick. 

We use a prescription-strength acid  formula that is faster and more effective for treating warts. Trichloroacetic acid is a strong solution that’s used in a series of treatments over a couple of weeks to help dissolve warts.

Cryotherapy

One of the most effective ways to get rid of warts is to freeze them off in a procedure known as cryotherapy. Again, while there are at-home versions of this treatment, they are much less potent and effective than the professional strength. 

Dr. Mittelbronn sprays liquid nitrogen on your wart, which kills the wart-infected cells and creates a blister around and under it. It takes about a week or so for the dead skin to slough off, and you may need more than one treatment to get the job done.

Other Chemicals

Apart from the acids mentioned above, there are a couple other chemicals - cantherone and podophyllin - that Dr Mittelbronn uses to treat warts.  These work somewhat differently than the acid does, but overall accomplish the same goal of removing the wart.

Excision

Sometimes, for smaller warts, cutting them out is another treatment option. But because this procedure is more involved and generally requires stitches, this is usually not the first option.  More commonly, cutting warts flat or scraping them away is used in conjunction with other treatments.

Combination Therapy

For warts that fail to respond to one of the single methods above, Dr Mittelbronn will often combine treatments to more aggressively help remove these resistant warts.

A special note about genital warts

Warts that appear on your genitals are also caused by HPV. In fact, there are about 30-40 different strains that can lead to these clusters of warts on the intimate areas of your skin. Because some strains can even cause cancer, treatment of genital warts is very important!

Genital warts are typically transmitted during sexual activity, including oral and anal sex. The highly contagious nature of the virus means that the warts can appear anywhere you’ve come into contact with other infected skin, so they may appear in your mouth, genitals, cervix, and around and inside the anus. 

Because genital warts are caused by a different viral strain than other warts, the products you find on the drugstore shelf often won’t treat your sexually transmitted warts. For proper treatment, you need to seek medical attention.

Overall, treatments of these lesions is similar to other warts, but there is also a prescription medication that can be used as well, depending on the locations.  Since these warts are extremely contagious, you must protect your sexual partners from direct contact with them.

Find a wart treatment that works for you

If you have warts that won’t go away, call us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mittelbronn today. He can discuss your options and help you decide on the most effective treatment depending on your specific type of wart and its location.

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