When Do Warts Become a Health Concern?

When Do Warts Become a Health Concern?

wart is a common skin infection that develops when the human papillomavirus (HPV) enters the skin through a break or cut. Warts can form on any part of your body, from your feet to your genitals. 

In most cases, warts are harmless, and they usually go away on their own with time. However, in some cases, they can cause complications if they’re not removed. Francine Rhinehart, DPM, whose practice is in Dallas, is an expert in identifying and treating problematic warts.

In this blog, Dr. Rhinehart explains more about what warts are, when they can become a health concern, and how they can be treated.

How to recognize a wart 

The first thing to know about warts is they can vary in appearance, and they can form on any part of the body. Generally, a wart resembles a small raised bump on the surface of the skin, and it can be the same color or darker. 

Warts on the feet are called plantar warts, and they can be particularly painful, especially when walking or standing. Common places for plantar warts are the toes, the balls of the feet, and the heels. 

If a wart doesn't go away on its own and it's left untreated, it could develop into a more severe health issue, and the infection could spread to other people who come in contact with it. 

Signs a wart is a health concern

As mentioned, warts are usually harmless, and they often go away with time. However, there are cases in which a wart should be examined by a doctor.

For example, if a wart is causing you significant pain, you should get it treated as soon as possible. Plantar warts are notoriously painful. 

Furthermore, if you have a wart that grows rapidly, this could be a sign of an underlying medical condition. In cases like this, you should have it examined right away.

Also, you should see Dr. Rhinehart if you notice blood or any discharge oozing out of your wart. Bleeding or discharge could be a sign of a more serious infection, which could indicate that your wart isn't healing on its own. 

Treating warts

We have several treatment options for warts. The type of treatment we use to remove your wart will depend on a variety of factors, such as its location and severity. 

Our treatment options include the following:

Topical medications

If your wart isn't severe, we may prescribe salicylic acid, which breaks down the wart's tissue, peeling it away layer by layer. 

Cryotherapy

With cryotherapy, we freeze your wart with liquid nitrogen, which kills the tissue, causing your wart to fall off. 

Laser therapy or surgery

More prominent and more severe warts might require laser therapy, which involves using a high-intensity laser to burn off the wart. Or, we might opt for surgery to cut off the wart.

If you’re unsure if your wart has become a health concern, you should see experienced podiatrist Dr. Rhinehart. She can examine your wart and discuss your treatment options. To get the care you need, call 469-754-8960 or book an appointment online with the practice of Francine Rhinehart, DPM, today.

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