Wart Treatment Specialist

Dermatology Surgical And Medical

Michael R. Lerner, MD

Dermatologist located in Bankers Hill, San Diego, CA

Dr. Lerner is able to treat warts for patients in San Diego, California.

Wart Treatment Q & A

What is a wart?

A wart is a benign, contagious skin growth that feels rough to the touch.  It is often characterized by small, clotted blood vessels that appear as tiny black dots.  Many patients wish to have warts removed because they are irritable or unsightly. There are many varieties of warts.  The common wart will appear as a gray or brown growth with a round top. These can grow anywhere, but are usually found on the fingers or toes.  Plantar warts grow into your skin, rather than protrude out from it. They are hardened growths on the soles of your feet, and often make walking very painful.  Flat warts are small, flat growths that appear pink, yellow or brown. These often grow in the face, arms or thighs. Filiform warts are small flesh-colored flaps that appear on the nose, chin or neck, or around the mouth.  Periungal warts are painful growths that appear under the nails and inhibit normal nail growth.

What causes warts?

Warts are caused by a HPV, which is the human papillomavirus.  The virus can be transmitted through any cut or scratch in your skin.  HPV will attack healthy skin cells and cause the cells to grow rapidly.  This growth will become a wart over time. Warts can easily spread via skin-to-skin contact, and sometimes spread through indirect means such as touching something that was previously touched by a wart.  Warts can also spread to different parts of your body once an initial wart has formed.

How are warts treated?

Warts can be treated differently depending on the type of wart and the individual.  Cryotherapy is the most common treatment method. This is when liquid nitrogen is applied to the wart to freeze it and prevent regrowth.  Another option is to apply medication to the wart, such as salicylic acid, imiquimod or diphenylcyclopropenone. If these options fail to work, the wart could be excised or injected with candin.