Warts – they can be annoying, unpleasant to look at, and perhaps uncomfortable, but for the most part, they tend to be completely harmless. Some people choose to have them removed because they are unsightly; but generally speaking, it’s not required for your overall health.
However, there are a few signs for which to be alert if you’re concerned that your wart might be an exception. Dr. Lukoff and his staff at Foot Care Specialists can help you diagnose a problematic wart that may require removal.
Harmless warts vs. concerning warts
Warts are caused by any one of the hundreds of strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV). They are most common in children, young adults, or anyone with a compromised immune system. They are most commonly spread through contact with the skin; more so if you have unhealed cuts, scrapes, bite your nails, or pick at hangnails.
Genital warts may occur through sexual contact. These, too, can be common skin warts, and are not an immediate cause for concern. While it’s true that some strains of HPV are cancerous, the ones that lead to cervical cancer have a very low risk. A gynecologist will check for these during a pap smear.
You should contact Dr. Lukoff if you notice your wart is bleeding, becomes itchy or painful, has unusual growth or other physical changes, won’t go away after using over-the-counter treatments, or interferes with your daily activities.
Protect yourself against warts
Because warts thrive in moist environments, always wear shoes when walking near the pool, inside the locker room, and especially when using locker room showers. Avoid wearing wet shoes or socks, and dry off your feet as soon as you leave the pool or shower.
Keep dry skin well moisturized, and protect any open cuts or scrapes from unhealthy exposure by wrapping them in band-aids. Try to avoid biting your nails or picking at hangnails.
While it’s considered kind to share your stuff, some things are better kept to yourself, such as towels, socks, and razors. Even if you don’t have warts, these items, when used, could still carry the virus.
Finally, always use protection when having sex.
Make an appointment with Dr. Lukoff today
If you’re concerned about the appearance of your wart, Dr. Lukoff and his staff are happy to assist you. You can make an appointment at one of two locations.
To schedule an appointment in Quincy, MA, call 617-206-1634. For the Dedham, MA location, call 781-205-2513. You can also make an appointment online for either location. We look forward to hearing from you.