Do you have warts and want to get them removed?

Also known as "viral papillomas", skin warts are common, especially in children and immunocompromised individuals. They are benign skin lesions otherwise known as skin growths. They are therefore not serious, but may still require treatment, especially when they are cosmetically unwanted, located in areas that interfere with function, or are painful.

If you wish to have your warts removed, please make an appointment with our dermatologist now. After a diagnosis, they will propose a solution adapted to your needs and expectations.

What is a wart?

A wart is a small growth on the skin, usually caused by infection with a virus such as the human papillomavirus (HPV). If not neutralised by the immune system, the virus multiplies in the superficial layers of the skin in a specific location, usually on the fingers, feet or face. 

The warts may appear singly or in groups of several small warts. This is called a "mosaic".

The most common warts include:

  • Vulgar warts
  • Thread-like warts
  • Flat warts
  • Plantar warts
  • Genital warts
  • Periungual warts

If you think you have one or more warts, we advise you to make an appointment with a doctor so that the diagnosis can be confirmed by a clinical examination.

warts
warts

What are the treatments for warts?

Warts are mostly benign and regress spontaneously within a few months. However, it is advisable to treat warts if they are painful, or for immunocompromised patients.

It should also be noted that, no treatments completely eradicate the virus and that the various methods only aim at the removal of the visible lesions and growths. Moreover, recurrences are very frequent.

In any case, the doctor's choice of treatment depends on:

  • The age of the person,
  • The type of skin warts,
  • The location of the warts.

The most common treatment options are:

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy, or cold treatment, involves applying liquid nitrogen to freeze and loosen the wart. This technique can be effective on the first application, but it often takes several sessions to completely remove the warts.

Cryotherapy is now the most common method for treating warts.

Curettage

Performed under local anaesthesia, this technique consists of manually removing the wart. Curettage is used for singular large warts and/or warts connected to the body by a small piece of skin. It is sometimes painful and may leave a small scar.

Carbon dioxide laser

Generally used for plantar warts, the carbon dioxide laser is an expensive method that leaves a scar in 50% of cases.

Chemical methods

Keratolytic treatment consists of the application of salicylic acid preparations in concentrations ranging from 10 to 60%, every day on the wart until the lesion disappears.

Caution! Do not attempt to remove a wart yourself, as this may lead to infection, bleeding and spreading, as well as leaving a scar.

What to do after wart treatment?

Whether the warts have been destroyed by physical or chemical methods, it is recommended to return to the dermatologist after 3 to 4 weeks to ensure that the treatment is progressing well and that the lesions are healing properly.

How to avoid warts?

Although it is difficult to prevent them completely, here are some tips on how to avoid warts as much as possible:

  • To prevent plantar warts, we recommend wearing shoes or flip-flops in gyms and public showers, and around swimming pools.
  • If a family member has a wart, avoid sharing towels and ask them to wash their hands thoroughly after touching the wart.
  • Avoid reusing a file or pumice stone that has been used to rub a wart.

Warts: our answers to your FAQs

Warts usually disappear spontaneously after a few months, but if they are painful you can also have them removed by a doctor using liquid nitrogen or a salicylic acid preparation.
If you think you have a wart and want to be sure, we advise you to consult a dermatologist.
The use of salicylic acid is the most popular treatment for warts, but cryotherapy also gives excellent results. Your doctor will be able to help you decide which treatment is best for you.
Wash your hands after touching the wart and avoid sharing the towel. In case of a plantar wart, it is important to wear shoes or flip-flops.

 

Our dermatologist

Dr. Luis Novoa

Dermatologist 🇬🇧 🇪🇸
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