Warts are a very common skin condition, caused by a viral infection. They often appear on the hands and feet and are particularly common amongst children. They appear in the form of hard round or oval shaped lumps with a scaly and can vary in size and type. They can disappear on their own but removing them is usually the best option, as this will prevent them from spreading. They are not harmful but can often cause people embarrassment or worry that they will spread to other parts of the body.
We can help with all types and sizes of warts at the Cambridge Clinic. Whether you’ve just noticed it or you have a stubborn wart you’ve been trying to remove for years, we can help.
We have several treatment options for removing warts and your Dermatologist will be able to advise you of the most effective one. Although warts are not dangerous, many people choose to remove them to prevent spreading or if they find them painful or embarrassing. Warts can be straight forward to remove but can be challenging to ensure they do not return, as it can take up to 2 years for the virus to leave your system, so you may need multiple treatments. Here are the main treatments we offer:
Salicylic Acid – This is one of the most used treatments for warts and Verrucae and comes in the form of creams, gels, and plasters. It works by removing dead skin cells to destroy the wart. Although it is available in many pharmacies, it’s most effective when carried out by a professional Dermatologist, as it can damage the skin surrounding the wart, if not applied properly. A Dermatologist can also ensure the correct amount has been used and that the entire surface of the wart has been treated, which is very important.
Cryotherapy – This is when the wart is frozen off, destroying the infected cells. This works very well when done by a professional Dermatologist, who will apply liquid nitrogen to the wart for a few seconds. This turns the affected area into a blister, which then scabs and falls off in the following week. It takes around 15 minutes and does cause a small amount of pain. It is usually repeated every 1-3 weeks for a few months. Although a similar treatment is available from pharmacies, it does not use liquid nitrogen so isn’t as effective.
Chemical treatments – This works by killing the skin cells within the wart so it’s important that any surrounding skin is sufficiently protected. Chemical treatments which can be prescribed include formaldehyde, silver nitrate and glutaraldehyde.
Electrosurgery – This is only used in rare cases, for larger or more persistent warts. It is when the wart is burned under local anaesthetic, leaving a wound which then heals and will leave a scar.
If you would like to find out more about our treatment options and how they work, please do get in touch with us and our friendly team will be happy to answer your questions.
Even though there are over the counter options for wart removal, the safest and most reliable option is to have a professional Dermatologist remove it. This will ensure that it is done properly, will minimise the risk of any scarring and of the wart returning or spreading.
Your Skin Doctor at the Cambridge Clinic can examine your affected area, confirm that this is the correct diagnosis and recommend the most effective option for removal. They can then treat it, making sure that enough sessions are done to prevent the infection from returning.
We have the most up to date treatment options for successfully removing warts, without scarring the skin. Our team are highly experienced at treating patients with this very common skin condition and have a track record of achieving excellent results.
They can also remove and treat warts that are in sensitive or difficult to reach areas, such as the face. They will be able to advise you of the best treatment option, depending on your individual circumstances.
Warts are spread from close skin to skin contact which occurs between people or on your own body. If you have a wart, avoid scratching or picking it as this can cause the virus particles to spread to other parts of your body, causing more warts and increasing the risk of passing them on to others. Warts may take up to 12 months to develop, so it’s important to ensure you are being careful. Never try to remove the wart yourself, without using proper medication, as this may increase the spread or damage your skin.
The best thing to do if you discover a wart is to make an appointment with one of our experienced Dermatologists. They can then ensure it is removed safely and properly, without it spreading. While you are preparing for your appointment, try not to touch it and cover it with a plaster or verruca sock if you are swimming.
It is also a good idea to wear flip flops in communal changing rooms/ swimming pools to prevent picking up a Verruca from the floor.
When you make an appointment at the Cambridge Clinic, your Dermatologist will examine your wart and ensure that this is the correct diagnosis. Warts are usually very easy to diagnose, due to their characteristic appearance. However, in some cases, they may scrape off the top layer to see if there are black dots, which are common within warts. They may also use a magnifying device to look more closely at it.
In some rare cases, a small scraping of the wart may be taken and sent off to the laboratory for analysis, to rule out other skin conditions/ growths.
Your Dermatologist will then discuss with you how long ago you noticed the wart and whether it has spread to any other areas. They also may ask you if you have tried any other methods of removal. They will then recommend the best treatment for removal. They might be able to perform this straight away or they may book you in for another appointment for this. Please be aware that you may need several treatments to ensure that the wart does not return, even though it may appear to have disappeared after one session. They will answer any questions you may have about this or how the treatment works.
Depending on the size and location of your warts, they are normally quite easy to get rid of and can be removed permanently, with enough treatments. However, as they are caused by a viral infection, it is possible that a wart will return, particularly in the first 2 years. However, with professional treatment from a Dermatologist, it’s very likely that we can permanently remove your wart(s).
If you have any further questions about how we treat warts at the Cambridge Clinic or about your consultation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and we will be more than happy to answer your questions and give you more information.