There are many misconceptions about warts from how they developed, to how to get rid of them, etc. So let’s set the record straight .

Number one, warts are not caused by touching a frog. Warts, or verruca, are caused by a virus, called HPV. This virus is present in the bloodstream and can lie dormant for many years before you can develop a wart on the skin. The virus is contagious but very difficult to prevent the spread.

Secondly, homeopathic treatments such as apple cider vinegar, banana mash, duct tape (my favorite) sticking a needle in it, or putting a potato on it or burying a potato when there is a full moon, etc are not effective in the treatment of warts. Due to the wart being deep in the skin and subcutaneous tissue,  strong topical medications are need to be used.  In office treatments consist of using strong acids (stronger than over the counter preparations), skin irritants,  and other topical medications that destroy the wart cell in the deeper layers of the skin. First the area is prepped by removing the dead skin overlying the wart to allow the medication to penetrate the wart tissue. The medication will then be placed on the wart. Afterwards a bandage or moleskin will be placed on the area treated and often kept in place for 24 hours as to let the medication continue to work. This is a painless procedure.

Thirdly, warts can affect adults. It is true most of the patients who are treated for warts in the office are children it is not uncommon for older adults to develop warts. However, if you do not have a history of warts and develop a spot that is questionable; it is imperative top get it checked out immediately. A patient over the age of 40 developing a wart is less likely and there are some cancerous skin conditions that can look like warts that are more common. A biopsy may be necessary for a patient with a questionable lesion. Warts that have been present for several years should also be checked out and most likely biopsied.

Warts can be difficult to treat. The sooner the diagnosis and appropriate treatment is started the faster the resolution. So go ahead and let the kids chase those frogs without fear of warts!! Call us today!

Alexandra K. Grulke, DPM, FACFAS, CWS
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Trained in all aspects of podiatry, with special focus in pediatrics and foot/ankle reconstructive surgery