When Should I See My Dermatologist About Warts?

Sometimes when we notice a change in our body – even a growth like a wart – we tend to cover it up and hope it will take care of itself. We all lead remarkably busy lives, but it is necessary to get warts and other growths checked out. While many warts are harmless, some can come with health complications. Here at Old Bridge Dermatology we see warts daily and are happy to help you understand why it’s so important to get them checked out by a dermatologist.

What are warts?

Warts are benign skin growths that appear when the top layer of your skin is infected by a virus called the human papillomavirus, or HPV. Warts often appear on your hands or feet as small, dark, rough growths, but they can form anywhere on your body. There are many types of warts; some appear flat, some are raised, and some growing in clusters.

Warts are typically harmless, but some HPV strains that cause warts are associated with other health complications. The virus is highly contagious and can spread by direct contact, entering your body in an area of broken skin.

When should I see a dermatologist about a wart?

Sometimes warts will disappear on their own, though that can take ages. Since warts are unattractive and occasionally painful, most people prefer to get them removed. There are several “at-home” remedies you can find online, but these should only be tried after consulting a dermatologist. Wart removal by a trained dermatologist is the most effective treatment.

You should absolutely visit your dermatologist if you are experiencing the following with a wart:

  • A wart that is painful, itchy, burns, or bleeds
  • Several warts
  • A wart appearing on your face or genitals
  • A weak immune system
  • Diabetes

How can I prevent the spread of warts?

Since HPV is highly contagious, you want to keep it from spreading by taking the following precautions:

  • Avoid scratching or picking your warts.
  • Always wear footwear in public places like locker rooms, public showers, or at the pool.
  • Never touch a wart on another person.
  • Keep warts dry to prevent moisture from spreading the virus.

If you’re dealing with a wart or any other skin issue, it’s time to give us a call. Our board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Juan Vaillant, has years of experience diagnosing and treating a myriad of skin issues. Call us today at our Old Bridge, NJ office at (732) 679-0222 for an appointment!