West Houston Dermatology

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Warts 101: Common Warts

Common Wart

Warts are a non-cancerous skin growth caused by a virus that affects the top layer of the skin.  Warts are contagious and can spread by contact with the wart itself or something that touched the wart.  Though warts are commonly found on the hands, they can grow on any part of the body.  Common warts most often grow on a patient’s fingers around the nails and backs of the hands, and can occur where there is broken skin from picking at hangnails or biting fingernails because this allows the virus to enter the skin.  Common warts generally feel like rough bumps and can have black dots that look like seeds.  Though warts are not harmful, they can be annoying or unsightly depending on where they are.  There is no cure for the wart virus, but warts can be removed.  It is very important to see a dermatologist to have a wart removed and not try to do it yourself due to the risk of infection and/or scarring.  At West Houston Dermatology, we can treat your wart(s) using one of several options:  cryotherapy (freezing), cantharadin, or excision.  If more aggressive treatment is required for removal, Dr. Mahoney is quite capable.