Warts

Warts are growths that are caused by a virus infecting the skin.

There are several types of warts with different names based on their location. The common wart is found on the hands or body. The plantar wart derives its name because it is located on the sole or plantar surface of the foot. Venereal warts, or condyloma acuminatum, involve the genital region and are often transmitted sexually. In females with venereal warts, periodic pap smears should be done since these warts may cause cervical cancer.

Treatment of warts requires the destruction of the skin that harbors the wart virus. This is accomplished by a number of ways and is successful about 80% of the time. Because the wart virus can infect the normal surrounding skin while being unapparent to examination, it is not surprising that recurrence is frequent requiring follow-up treatment. The most common treatments include cryotherapy, acid treatments, laser or routine surgery, or topicals such as podophyllin, cantharidin (blister beetle juice), bleomycin or squaric acid.