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What Happens If You Ignore a Wart?

What Happens If You Ignore a Wart?

Warts usually appear on the feet, hands, or face. They’re triggered by a virus that settles into the skin, causing small growths. Warts are contagious so you can spread them to others. Even though warts are usually asymptomatic, some cause pain and itching. 

Warts require medical attention to prevent them from worsening or spreading. At Jordan Valley Dermatology Center in South Jordan, Utah, dermatologist Douglass Forsha, MD, and his team treat all types of warts, providing pain relief and stopping them from spreading.

What are warts?

Warts are small, noncancerous growths on the skin caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infections. You can get a wart at any age, and the appearance or symptoms depend on the type of wart you have. These are the most common types of warts.

Common warts 

As their name suggests, common warts are the most common type of viral warts. They can appear anywhere on the body but are usually found on the hands or feet. 

A common wart generally ranges from the size of a pinhead to a pea. Its initially smooth surface becomes fissured as it grows. It starts out as a skin-colored growth that gradually turns yellowish. These warts can appear individually or in multiples.

Plantar warts 

Unlike the common wart, a plantar wart frequently isn’t a raised skin growth. Instead, plantar warts tend to grow into the skin. They usually form on the soles of your feet, and your body weight pushes them into subcutaneous tissue. Plantar warts can be painful. Every step can be uncomfortable if you have a plantar wart.

Flat warts 

If warts on the face or hands aren’t raised, they’re probably flat warts, most commonly seen in children and adolescents. Children often scratch their flat warts, causing new flat warts to form along the scratch mark when fingernails spread the virus.

Filiform warts

Filiform warts are fast-growing and look spiky and thread-like. They usually grow on the face, around the eyes, nose, and mouth. These warts rarely hurt, but they can make you self-conscious about your appearance.

Treating warts

Warts can cause embarrassment and pain. If you ignore a wart and wait for it to disappear, you could end up with a bigger wart or new warts, or you could pass it on to someone else. 

The best wart treatment depends on your age, health, and the type of wart you have. There's no cure for HPV, so some of the virus might stay in your skin after the wart is gone and reappear later. 

There are many different treatment techniques and remedies for warts. Dr. Forsha may freeze your warts (cryotherapy) by gently applying liquid nitrogen. When it evaporates, the extreme cold destroys the top layer of skin. You may need several cryotherapy treatments to completely remove  your wart. Some stubborn warts require treatment with blistering agents or minor surgery.

The Jordan Valley Dermatology Center experts understand if you’d prefer to treat yourself at home. You can choose take-home medications, such as retinoids or antivirals to kill the virus or stop the wart from growing. An over-the-counter topical product like salicylic acid can also treat your warts at home.  

Don’t ignore a wart

Warts can appear anywhere on your body at any age. Seeing a doctor about your wart is the best way to ensure you don’t pass it along to someone else. 

Call the office or book an appointment online today to speak to Dr. Forsha about warts and explore available treatments.

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