At Florida Skin Center, patients in the communities of Lehigh Acres, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Punta Gorda are often concerned about warts and wart removal. Our board certified dermatologists evaluate patients during consultation appointments and discuss these unsightly bumps on the skin.
How Do Warts Develop?
Warts are an infection that is a result of a virus called HPV, or human papillomavirus. Warts are seen on all parts of the body, though some patients are more naturally resistant than others.
Are Warts Contagious?
Yes, warts can be passed from one person to another when the other person touches the wart. Warts may also be caused by using objects that were used by an individual with warts. Warts present on the genitals can be passed through sexual intercourse. It is essential that patients avoid unprotected sex, especially if your sexual partner has warts. Warts may grow on a woman’s cervix without her even knowing, resulting in her passing them on to a sexual partner during unprotected sex.
Do Warts Require Treatment or Will They Go Away On Their Own?
The answer depends. Some warts disappear over time, but this may take months or years. Some won’t go away and require treatment. It is unknown why some warts will disappear while others do not. If a wart requires treatment, it can be addressed at Florida Skin Center. Warts can become bothersome as they can:
- Become painful
- Cause embarrassment
- Spread to others.
How are Warts Removed?
- Liquid Nitrogen (Freezing or Cryotherapy) – This involves having a very cold spray applied to the lesion. This can be painful (topical anesthetic can be applied before or after treatment). After treatment, the area may form into a blister. The blister can be popped with a sterile needle, and covered with a dry bandage. You can resume normal activity; it is fine to get the area wet. It generally takes 4-6 treatments for the wart to resolve; treatments are done 2-3 weeks apart.
- Canthacur – This involves having a liquid medication applied to the lesion, which causes an allergic reaction and makes the body fight the wart. The medication will be left on for a specified amount of time (your provider will let you know how long), and then it is washed off with soap and water. Applying the medication is not painful, but a blister may form hours or days later. You can resume normal activity; it is fine to get the area wet (after the medication has been washed off). It generally takes more than one treatment for the wart to resolve, treatments are done 3-4 weeks apart. Canthacur has been used by Pediatric Dermatologists for years to treat various medical conditions but is not FDA approved.
- Aldara/Zyclara/Imiquimod cream – This cream is a prescription that is applied by the patient/parent at home three times a week to the affected area. This medication can be used in conjunction with the above treatments. The medication comes in very tiny packets, but only a small amount is needed; you may save the packet in a zip lock bag for continued use. The medication works by creating an immune response within the body, which helps the body fight the wart virus. Used by itself, it may take several weeks to months for the wart to resolve. This medication can be very expensive, so if you are unable to get it filled, we will just continue with treatments in the office.
- Vascular Laser – Each wart is treated by the laser and works by cutting off the blood supply. This treatment can be very painful (topical/local anesthetic can be administered before or after treatment). After treatment the area may form into a blister. The blister can be popped with a sterile needle, and covered with a dry bandage. You can resume normal activity; it is fine to get the area wet.
- Liquid nitrogen – another way to treat a wart is to freeze it with liquid nitrogen during a treatment known as cryotherapy. There is little discomfort but treatment is effective. For complete wart removal, these treatments may be done several weeks apart for two to four times total. If there has been no improvement using this technique, another method may be considered.
- Laser removal – using a special laser device, some warts can be removed with this light treatment. Scarring is possible with this, so it is important to discuss treatment thoroughly with the doctor before moving forward with this method.
It generally takes more than one treatment for the wart to resolve and treatments are done every 2 weeks.
What are the Treatments for Genital Warts?
Genital warts are treated differently from warts elsewhere on the body. Methods may include liquid nitrogen or laser treatment.
Will Warts Return Once Removed?
In most situations, treating warts will result in successful removal – for good. However, if a wart returns, patients are encouraged to return to Florida Skin Center to talk to us about alternative methods of treatment.
If you have a wart or multiple warts that will not go away on their own and need treatment, contact us today to schedule a consultation. We serve individuals residing in the Fort Myers, Punta Gorda, Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres areas.