While there may not be one single, best treatment for warts, there are hundreds of remedies that can react differently on each individual. Warts can often go away without treatment, especially true in children, but adults may not have the same luck. Our immune system is responsible for a wart’s disappearance or persistence. Many wart treatments result in some degree of inflammation, or irritation of the affected tissues, prompting the immune system to activate, and cure the wart. The spontaneous disappearance of a wart is likely a sign of the immune system at work.
Warts are benign (not cancerous) skin growths that appear when a virus infects the top layer of skin. Viruses that cause warts are called human papillomavirus (HPV). You are more likely to get one of these viruses if you cut or damage your skin in some way.
Wart viruses are contagious and can spread by contact with the wart or something that touched the wart. Shaving may cause them to spread in the beard area or legs. Biting or picking may also cause them to spread.
Warts are often skin colored and rough. But they can be dark (brown or gray-black), flat, and smooth.
Types of Warts
HPV and Cancer
- Some types of sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause genital warts. Other types, called high-risk or oncogenic HPVs, can cause cancer.
- High-risk HPVs cause virtually all cervical cancers. They also cause most anal cancers, and some vaginal, penile, and oropharyngeal (mouth) cancers.
- Most infections with high-risk HPVs do not cause cancer. Many HPV infections go away on their own in 1 to 2 years. However, infections that last for many years increase a person’s risk of developing cancer.
For a more in-depth discussion of warts and cancer, see the National Cancer Institute website:
Types of Wart Treatments
Dermatologist Dr. Brian Mekelburg of Los Angeles may use one or a combination of the following treatments:
Electrosurgery and Curettage
Dr. Brian Mekelburg, dermatologist in Los Angeles, stands ready to help you find the best remedy to cure your warts! Contact us today to set up an appointment.