WartsView More Before & Afters
Interested in removing warts? Discover what causes warts and the best option for you to eliminate them.
Ever wonder where warts come from? You don’t get them from touching frogs, but they are caused by a viral infection in the top layer of the skin. These common skin growths are usually skin-colored and feel rough to the touch. They can be dark, flat, or smooth. The appearance of a wart depends on where it is growing and which type of virus is causing it. Warts can appear anywhere on the body, but the most common places are the hands and feet. Warts aren’t usually cancerous but if they appear in the genital area, they can spread from person to person and in females (and males) have led to cancerous growths, so they are worth treating.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger, a board-certified dermatologist at Schlessinger MD in Omaha, can assess your skincare concerns and provide treatment options that can help bring your warts under control in most cases. He has the medical background to look at all aspects of this condition and provide effective solutions that can help remedy the problem.
Before & Afters
These are unretouched photos of Dr. Schlessinger’s own patients
What are warts?
Common warts (Verruca vulgaris)
Common warts grow on the fingers, usually around the nails and on the backs of hands. Children with warts on their hands often experience them on the face as well. This is due to biting their fingernails or touching their faces with the infected hand. This type of wart may have black dots in them that look like seeds, which leads to the term ‘seed warts’.
Plantar warts appear on the bottom of the feet (the plantar surface, thus the name). Walking on warts on the bottom of the foot can become painful. These too can have black dots in them. Generally, invasive removal methods aren’t used for warts on the feet because the scars produced from removal can remain painful, even long after the warts have been removed.
Flat warts are smaller, smoother, and grow in large numbers. It’s common in men with beards, while women may experience flat warts on their legs. Shaving can significantly hasten their spread, so depilatories such as Nair are recommended instead of shaving if you have flat warts, especially while undergoing treatments for them.
How to Treat Warts
Warts can be treated with several different therapies, including effective removal treatments at Schlessinger MD with non-invasive therapies such as a painless chemical or immunologic treatment in the office. Other treatments designed specifically for children are also available. Dr. Schlessinger has been an investigator on several new, cutting edge treatments for warts.
Warts are a virus, so there is no ‘cure’ for them. Most treatments are aimed at decreasing the amount of wart virus on the body and allowing your own immune system to better take care of the remaining virus. Having said this, there are some people who will not respond to any treatments, but fortunately, this is rare.
Dr. Schlessinger at Schlessinger MD, voted Omaha’s best dermatologist, has the knowledge to tell whether a growth is a wart or something else such as a mole, skin tag, or skin cancer. Sometimes warts simply go away on their own. But warts in adults often do not disappear as easily or as quickly as they do in children. After a period of time, it is unlikely that a wart will go away, whatever treatment is used.
So even though warts are harmless and generally won’t develop into a more serious skin condition, it’s reassuring to see Dr. Schlessinger to find out exactly what that suspicious skin growth is. Often, what people assume is a wart is something else that could be dangerous.
The treatment method Dr. Schlessinger employs is dependent on the type of wart and how many there are. There are options to freeze the wart until it falls off, zapping the wart with precision laser or electrodessication treatments, skillfully removing the wart. There is always the chance the wart will return but our team has the experience with innovative treatments options suited to your specific needs.
Interestingly, laser treatments aren’t usually a very good option for warts as they often leave scars and warts still return about 20-30% of the time despite optimal therapy. This is the same with most other treatments as well as warts are a virus and there are no ‘cures’ for viruses, just as there is no cure for the common cold.
“Warts are challenging, but typically able to be treated. We see many people who have dealt with them for years or given up on them that we can improve greatly.”