Verrucae, commonly referred to as warts, are tumor of the skin and mucosa caused by viruses of the human papillomavirus group (HPV). There are several types of warts which are classified by the appearance and/or location of the lesions.
Most warts are benign* and will resolve without treatment over a period of years. However, warts may cause discomfort physically and emotionally and a patient may elect to seek treatment. At Mid-Kansas Dermatology, there are several treatment methods available, all with the goal of destructing cells infected with HPV. Because HPV is a living virus, recurrence is not uncommon and treatments are generally done in a series as opposed to a single “cure all” treatment. However, with patience and appropriate treatment, eradication can usually be achieved.
Treatment type depends on several factors such as the age of the patient as well as the size, location, number, and type of warts. For example, in younger patients and for those with multiple warts, a painless chemical can be applied to the lesions with the goal of triggering the patient’s natural immune response to eliminate the virus. Other treatments available at Mid-Kansas Dermatology include liquid nitrogen, topical and injectable chemotherapeutic and immunotherapeutic agents administered in office, prescription topicals, CO2 laser, and in very rare cases, surgical excision with curettage and electrodessication. The options may seem daunting, but with the help of your provider/nurse team, an appropriate treatment plan can be made upon evaluation.