Header Image

Warts, also known as Verruca

 

These lesions are soft, skin-colored, fleshy or horny appearing growths that are caused by infection with a virus known as human papillomavirus (HPV).  They can appear anywhere on the skin, oral mucosa or anogenital areas.  The virus is contagious from one person to another or from one area to another on the same person, due to direct skin contact.  The virus is very common and not everyone will produce warts because the individual's immune system may counteract the virus.  However, warts may recur even after appropriate therapy due to persistaence of HPV.  Options for treatment include: occlusion (covering of the wart with tape), over the counter medications (i.e. salicylic acid), cryotherapy or freezing,  electrosurgery or prescription medications.  Occasionally repeated treatments are necessary.  There is now a vaccine given to teen girls to try and prevent infection with certain types of HPV that are significantly linked to cervical cancer.