Warts are contagious skin growths caused by a virus in the skin. They are commonly seen in children and teens, though any age may be affected. Warts can appear on any area of the body, but they often develop on the hands, feet, or face. There are many methods of treatment a dermatologist can use at a warts treatment center in Pittsburgh.
Although most warts are harmless, dermatologists can treat them. Some warts do not require treatment; however, a dermatologist may treat warts that are stubborn, painful, or spreading. Warts often go away without treatment, especially for children. In adults, warts may not disappear as easily or as quickly as they do in children. If you find that the warts will not go away, are painful, or there are many of them, you should consult a board-certified dermatologist.
Dermatologists have many treatment options for warts. It is important to know that getting rid of warts may take multiple treatments and a lot of persistence. The treatment used usually depends on the patient’s age and health as well as the type of wart. Below are eight different methods of treatment a dermatologist may use at a warts treatment center in Pittsburgh:
- Cantharidin: A dermatologist may “paint” a wart with cantharidin to treat it. Cantharidin causes a blister to form under the wart and uses the body’s own immune system to destroy the warts.
- Cryotherapy: For common warts in adults and children, cryotherapy (freezing) is the most widely used treatment and may require repeat treatments. This treatment is well-tolerated but can causes dark spots to form in patients who have darker skin. This may or may not improve with time.
- Electrosurgery and curettage: Electrosurgery (burning) is an effective treatment for common warts, filiform warts, and foot warts. Curettage involves scraping off (curetting) the wart with a sharp knife or small, spoon-shaped tool. Dermatologists often use these two procedures together. A dermatologist may remove the wart by scraping it off before or after electrosurgery.
- Excision: A dermatologist may cut out the wart. Dermatologists do not commonly use this as the first treatment, however, due to risk of the wart coming back.
If the warts are hard to treat, a dermatologist may use one of the following treatments:
- Laser treatment: Laser treatment is usually an option for warts that have not responded to other therapies. Before laser treatment, the dermatologist may numb the wart with an anesthetic injection (shot).
- Chemical peels: Flat warts typically appear on the top of the hands and there are likely many in number. For this reason dermatologists often prescribe “peeling” methods to treat all of these warts at once. This means that you will apply a peeling medicine at home every day. Peeling medicines may include salicylic acid (stronger than a store-bought product), tretinoin, and glycolic acid.
- Bleomycin: The dermatologist may inject each wart with an anti-cancer medicine called bleomycin. The shots may hurt, and they can have other side effects such as nail loss if given in the fingers.
- Immunotherapy: Dermatologists use a patient’s own immune system here to fight the warts, and they often use this when other treatment methods have failed. One type of immunotherapy involves applying a chemical, such as diphencyprone (DCP), to the warts. A mild allergic reaction occurs around the treated warts which may cause the warts to disappear.
At Vujevich Dermatology Associates, we provide wart treatment including in office applications of liquid nitrogen, other topical treatments, surgical removal, and at home treatments. If you’re unsure about the best way to treat a wart, get in touch with a warts treatment center in Pittsburgh, such as our office, to get proper care from a board-certified dermatologist.
Vujevich Dermatology Associates offers medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology from some of the most highly trained physicians and clinicians in the greater Pittsburgh area. You can reach our team at 412-429-2570 or visit our contact page to see all of our locations. You can also follow us on Facebook to see what’s new in the world of dermatology.