Warts are infectious skin growths caused by the human papillomavirus virus, also known as HPV. Only a few of the more than 100 different types of HPV can cause warts on your hands, while warts on other areas of your body are caused by a different strain of HPV. Warts can grow on anywhere on the body, including inside your mouth.
The main kinds of warts include:
Warts shouldn’t be confused with molluscum, another common skin condition that involves the appearance of 10 to 20 wart-like bumps. These pink or flesh-colored bumps are caused by the poxvirus, and, like warts, are spread through contact.
Although anyone can get warts, some people are naturally more resistant to the various types of HPV and don’t get them as easily as others. You’re more likely to get warts from someone else if you have a cut or a scrape, or if the wart has been traumatized by picking, scratching, or rubbing. Children and teens are more prone to getting warts, as are people who bite their nails or pick at hangnails.
Skin-to-skin contact isn’t the only way you can get warts. You can also get them from a wet towel that another person’s wart has touched.
Most warts are harmless, and many will go away on their own, particularly warts on children. It’s important to see a dermatologist if you have a wart that won’t go away or causes you pain, or if you have many warts. Standard wart treatments include:
Cryotherapy: This technique uses liquid nitrogen to freeze off the wart. The treatment isn’t too uncomfortable and is generally well tolerated by adults and older children.
Cantharidin: This treatment involves painting your blister with cantharidin, a solution that causes a blister to form beneath the wart. The dead wart is clipped off about a week later.
Electrosurgery, curettage, or excision: A wart is burned off with electrosurgery, while curettage involves scraping it off. These two methods are often used together. Excision, or cutting the wart out, is another common treatment method.
At Easton Dermatology Associates, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a list of some of the plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.