MOLES AND WARTS:
Small, usually painless growths on the skin caused by a virus called human papilloma virus (HPV). They are generally harmless. Warts can disappear without treatment, since the immune system eventually recognizes the wart virus and destroys it, rendering the individual immune to further warts. This process can take months to years. However, warts can be disfiguring and embarrassing, and occasionally they itch or hurt (particularly on the feet), prompting need for treatment.
- Common warts usually appear on the hands, but can occur anywhere
- Flat warts are generally found on the face and forehead. They are common in children, less common in teens, and rare in adults.
- Plantar warts are found on the soles of the feet, where weight-bearing pressure can cause significant pain.
- Genital warts (condyloma) are usually found on the genitals, in the pubic area, and in the area between the thighs, but they can also appear inside the vagina and anal canal.
- Subungual and periungual warts appear under and around the fingernails or toenails. This type is much more difficult to treat than warts in other places.
Available over the counter:
- Salicyclic acid creams/pads/gels
Available from your dermatologist:
- Cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen
- Cantharidin application (blister beetle juice)
- Imiquimod cream (AldaraTM, ZyclaraTM)
- Topical 5-fluorouracil cream (5-FU)
- Tretinoin cream (Retin-ATM)
- Candida albicans injections
- Pulsed dye laser