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What Are the Signs and Treatment Options for Warts?

Warts are benign (non-cancerous) and often harmless growths that appear on the surface of the skin. They are caused by a viral infection, which is often spread when skin is damaged in some way, such as a cut or burn. While warts will generally not threaten your overall health, they may still be treated to improve the appearance of the skin or relieve possible symptoms like pain and irritation of the skin. Keep reading to learn more about the symptoms of warts and the types of treatment that your dermatologist can offer. Signs and symptoms Most frequently, people will see common warts, which tend to appear on the hands and fingers. They are generally rough bumps that may have black dots on the surface. Foot warts will grow in clusters on the soles of the feet, and they may cause discomfort with pain and soreness while walking. Flat warts will appear anywhere, and they tend to appear in large numbers. Diagnosis If you notice any type of wart on your skin, it is a good idea to schedule a visit to the dermatologist to be sure that the growth is, in fact, a wart. Usually, warts can be diagnosed visually, though some may need to be removed and biopsied for a definitive diagnosis. Treatment Options There are many different treatments for warts, and most often, they will not require surgery to remove. Cantharidin, a topical medication that causes a blister to form just beneath the wart, is a common treatment for patients of all ages. Cryotherapy is usually only used for adults and older children, and it is a highly effective treatment that involves freezing the wart. Treatment is generally painless and quick with cryotherapy. For non-common moles, electrosurgery and cutterage, laser therapy, and immunotherapy may be necessary to clear the skin. To get the clinical and cosmetic care you need to maintain healthy, beautiful skin in Tucson, call Specialists in Dermatology at (520) 382-3330 for an appointment at one of our three Southern Arizona offices.