Not all warts are the same and you should carefully explore your options.
By Emily Jorge, DCNP
Outpatient dermatology providers see a range of patients, from kids to the elderly, with common warts. And I’m not talking about worry warts, albeit anxiety is typically high especially in children who want wart removal. Nail biters and nose pickers present with more complex situations by transferring the virus to their lips and sometimes their nasal carriages. Knowing what to expect before your visit to the dermatologist can help prepare you or your little one for an easier visit.
1. The options for removal in the office won’t be completely comfortable. The following are the most popular in-office treatments.
a. Cantharidin application: This treatment may cause moderate to severe blisters.
b. Candida injections: Redness, swelling, peeling, and throbbing can be expected.
c. Cryotherapy: This can burn and cause blistering and/or crusting.
d. ED&C: Electrodesiccation & curettage leaves an open and/or crusted sore.
2. Not all warts are the same. Warts come from the human papillomavirus which are comprised of approximately 120 genotypes that infect the outer layers of the skin or mucosa. HPV-16 and 18 are carcinogenic, however the common wart is not associated with causing cancer.
3. Explore your options. There are topical creams and preparations that your provider can prescribe. These may cause irritation to the surrounding skin and in some cases prolong your results, but if your insurance covers the medicine, ask about your options.
4. Don’t kiss any frogs. We know this is a myth, but remember you can transfer warts by scratching the wart then handling another area of the body. Wash your hands frequently and don’t wait to be treated until there are numerous and advanced warts. Treating early can alleviate a more painful experience.