Warts are small, rough, hard, flesh-colored skin growths. They are a symptom of a benign, superficial viral infection caused by the family of human papillomaviruses (HPV). The HPV virus is responsible for many common viral infections. Though overall not harmful, warts are contagious and can be spread by direct contact. They affect about 10% of Americans. Warts are more common in children than adults.
What are warts?
Warts tend to develop on the hands and feet, and knees and elbows, but can also be found under and around the fingernails and toenails. However, wherever skin is present, there is the potential to grow a wart. They look like calluses but may contain black dots that look like little seeds. Warts on the fingers often develop as a result of a break in the skin (like a hangnail or scratch), through which the virus enters the skin. 10 -20% of children have common warts. Behaviors such as picking at or biting fingernails will increase the chances of developing a wart in those areas. Warts can also be spread in areas of shaving, including the beard area in men and on the lower legs in women.
Warts grow slowly and are contagious. They easily spread to other areas of the body, and to other people. While most warts are harmless, they can be difficult to eliminate. Topical therapies can take at least three months to work and can be painful. Despite multiple treatment options, there is no single recommended treatment.
Some small warts can disappear on their own. However, because they are contagious, all warts should be treated to prevent spread. Over-the-counter treatments with salicylic acid help to slough off the top layers of the wart. However, they’re not always effective in killing the living cells that contain the virus. When the home treatments fail to work, or the wart is painful, grows larger, bleeds, or spreads, it should be treated with more effective methods.
What are the treatment options for warts?
Warts often resolve without treatment, especially in children. Treatment should be considered for the following reasons: the wart is not resolving, it is painful, there are many and they are spreading. Common treatment options include:
- Cryotherapy: Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the upper layers of the skin and kill the skin cells containing the virus. This process causes a mild amount of discomfort. A blister can develop underneath the wart before the wart falls off.
- Cantharidin: This liquid may be “painted on” the wart, causing a blister to form underneath. This process is not painful.
- Excision: Warts may be numbed and cut out.
For evaluation and consideration for treatment options, consult Dr. Ryan Schuering at his office in Stuart, FL.
"Dr Schuering is very professional, friendly and capable. I had a total body exam and he treated about 10 lesions. I found his manner to be exemplary. The office staff is so kind and caring. All located in a beautiful and clean office in Tequesta."- L.T. / Google / Oct 28, 2023
"I’m new to Port St. Lucie and I was highly recommended by the PA Kimberly Cray , From the minute I walked in I didn’t get the receptionist name, but I could not have been greeted with a bigger smile, and it was very helpful, I had finished most of my forms online so that also speed it up my wait time which in the waiting room wasn’t more than eight minutes, I was brought back by the medical assistant. She got all my information, and shortly after Kimberly came in and gave me a head to toe check up.. Kimberly is so thorough kind patient explains everything you need to know she zapped quite a few pre-cancerous spots and answered all my questions so if you’re looking for a great team who really care about the patients give this place try and ask for Kimberly"- S. / Google / Oct 26, 2023
"Great experience! Highly recommend! Dr. Schuering was super kind and attentive. The office staff was great. The office itself was beautiful and comfortable. They got me in and out quickly. Have been looking for a new derm for a while. This is definitely the one!"- C.S. / Google / Oct 13, 2023
"My 10 year old saw Cheryl and Dr. Schuering today, and he wanted to leave a 5-star review. I was so impressed by how patient and kind everyone was in the office."- O.G. / Google / Oct 13, 2023
"Where do I begin!! I’ve seen PA Kimberly Cray when she used to work in Miami. I made trips to see her then and now in Tequesta 😊 She is amazing and sweet as a button. I highly recommend her to anyone. She makes you feel at ease throughout your entire appointment and explains everything thoroughly. She listens and makes you feel heard. She is always thinking of the best approach to treat each patient. Love her!!"- S.D. / Google / Oct 12, 2023