Warts are fleshy growths caused by a virus. They appear as lumps or bumps on the surface of your skin. One of the most common types is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a large family of dozens of viruses, some of which also cause genital warts and cervical cancer.
You contract warts when the virus enters the skin through a tiny cut or another opening, most commonly after touching a contaminated surface or coming in contact with a wart on another person. Some warts go away over time as the body's defense system fights them off, but many warts only disappear with medical attention.
Warts can reach deep beneath the skin's surface, and they occur more commonly among young children and those with weak immune systems, although anyone can get them.
Many times warts go away on their own, but this can take several weeks or even years. You may want treatment, however, when a wart is:
Over-the-counter preparations do not penetrate deeply into the skin’s surface to address the origins of the wart. They also fail to provide the type of treatment needed to permanently eradicate the virus causing the wart, which means that even if the upper levels are removed, warts can still return, or even spread.
Plus, many over-the-counter preparations use solutions that can permanently scar your skin. A dermatologist like Dr. Yalowitz is skilled in the safe and effective removal of warts and the destruction of the underlying virus. She uses techniques that significantly reduce the likelihood of scarring.
Dr. Yalowitz tailors your treatment, factoring in the depth of the wart, its underlying cause, and its location. She treats some warts with topical medications, but many warts are removed using a technique called cryotherapy that uses liquid nitrogen to "freeze" them off and destroy the virus.
Many warts can be treated in just one appointment, but some patients may need additional treatments, especially if the virus has spread to other areas that haven't broken out yet.
If you want to get rid of your warts for good, call Larchmont Dermatology or book an appointment online.