Viral Wart Treatments in Pittsburgh, PA

When you hear the world “warts”, you probably think of witches, so if you have them yourself, you’re probably not thrilled about it. When in search of Pennsylvania dermatology that could make a difference for your issue, reach out to the professionals at Premier Plastic Surgery and Dermatology. Did you know warts will eventually clear up, no matter how long it seems like they are going to stick around? There are many different types of ways to treat warts, and the night Pennsylvania dermatology office can show you all of them. To learn more, reach out to Premier Plastic Surgery and Dermatology today. We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions about Pennsylvania dermatology.

What are Warts

  • Warts (“verrucae”) are growths of the skin caused by infection with Human Papillomavirus (HPV). More than 70 HPV subtypes are known.
  • Warts are particularly common in childhood and are spread by direct contact or autoinocculation. This means if a wart is scratched, the viral particles may be spread to another area of skin. It may take as long as twelve months for the wart to first appear.

What do they look like

  • Warts have a hard ‘warty’ or ‘verrucous’ surface. You can often see tiny black dots in the middle of the wart. Contrary to popular belief, these are not the “roots” of the wart, but are thrombosed capillary blood vessels.

Where do viral warts present

  • Common warts arise most often on the backs of fingers or toes, and on the knees.
  • Plantar warts include one or more tender inwardly growths on the sole of the foot.
  • Mosaic warts on the sole of the foot occur in clusters over an area sometimes several centimetres in diameter.
  • Plane, or flat, warts can be very numerous and may be inoculated by shaving.
  • Periungual warts prefer to grow at the sides or under the nails and can distort nail growth.
  • Filiform warts are on a long stalk.
  • Oral warts can affect the lips and even inside the cheeks. They include squamous cell papillomas.
  • Genital warts are often transmitted sexually and predispose to cervical, penile and vulval cancer.

Treatment

  • In children, even without treatment, 50% of warts disappear within 6 months; 90% are gone in 2 years. They are more persistent in adults but they clear up eventually.
  • Occlusion: Just keeping the wart covered 24 hours a day may result in clearance. Duct tape is convenient and inexpensive.
  • Chemical treatment: includes wart paints containing salicylic acid or similar compounds, which work by removing the dead surface skin cells.
  • Cryotherapy: The wart is frozen with liquid nitrogen repeatedly, at one to three week intervals. This is uncomfortable for a few minutes and may result in blistering for several days. Success is in the order of 70% after 3-4 months of regular freezing
  • Electrosurgery: is used for particularly large and annoying warts. Under local anaesthetic, the growth is pared away and the base burned by cautery. The wound heals in about two weeks; even then 20% of warts can be expected to recur within a few months.
  • Other treatments: There are numerous treatments for warts and none offer a guarantee of cure. They include topical fluorouracil, candida yeast antigen injections, laser vaporization, oral cimetidine and acitretin, and topical immune modulators such as imiquimod cream.

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