Warts 101: What you need to know about warts and wart removal

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September 15, 2021

Patients with fleshy bumps that develop on the skin may be unsure as to what these growths are. In many cases, with a proper evaluation and diagnosis from Dr. Margaret Summerville of Chevy Chase Dermatology, patients will find that these bumps are actually warts. While the idea of a wart sounds scary, there are ways for patients to address them. 

What is a wart? 

A wart is a growth that is caused by a condition called human papillomavirus. There are several strains of this condition, but patients will find that these benign, or “non-cancerous,” lesions might be embarrassing. 

Are warts contagious? 

Yes, warts are extremely contagious. HPV is transmitted easily to others by touch, causing patients to develop warts from touching public surfaces such as showers, towels, and pool decks. HPV causes skin cells on the surface to divide faster than normal, causing a buildup that results in a skin lesion. 

Are warts painful or cancerous? 

Warts are typically not painful unless they are located somewhere where they rub or experience friction. While most warts are not cancerous, there are situations in which genital warts may be found to have a link to anal or cervical cancer. An evaluation of warts can help Dr. Margaret Summerville determine the best way to proceed and consider if a biopsy should be performed. 

How can a wart be removed? 

Wart removal can occur in various different ways. Some patients find success with over-the-counter wart treatments, while others may be more stubborn and resistant. With this in mind, patients can visit our dermatologist at Chevy Chase Dermatology to have an in-office procedure done for removal. Removal may be done with manual excision or the use of liquid nitrogen to essentially freeze the wart off of the skin. Some professional-strength topical medications can also be used to break down the skin cells and in turn, eliminate the wart with time. 

How do I learn more about wart removal? 

Patients who are considering the removal of one or more warts from the skin and have been unhappy with the results of over-the-counter solutions can contact Chevy Chase Dermatology to discuss with Dr. Margaret Summerville the most appropriate solution for their needs. Patients can call (301) 656-SKIN to schedule a consultation appointment and initial evaluation at this Chevy Chase, MD area practice located at 5530 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite #830.


Category: Warts


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