Warts

Robin Borkowsky, MD, FAAD -  - Dermatologist

21st Century Dermatology

Robin Borkowsky, MD, FAAD

Dermatologist located in Mid-Town, New York, NY

Warts can appear anywhere on your body, causing unnecessary embarrassment and/or discomfort. Dr. Borkowsky treats patients of all ages with effective remedies for warts. Call or schedule an appointment online, today.

Warts Q & A

How did I get warts?

Anyone – male, female, children, and adults – can get warts at any time during their lives. Some people are more susceptible to the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes warts. Children and teenagers, those who bite their nails, or anyone with a weakened immune system may be more susceptible. In some childhood cases, warts go away on their own, but if they don’t, you should seek medical attention from a board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Borkowsky.

Warts are highly contagious and can spread through contact with your own body, or from person to person through cuts or scrapes. A wart usually takes a few months to develop after you've come in contact with the HPV virus. Although warts are generally not a threat to your health, some warts do have the potential to turn cancerous.

What are the symptoms of warts?

Warts appear in all shapes and sizes, including bumps with a rough surface, or smooth and flat against your skin. Unless they are in a spot where there is pressure, like the bottom of your foot, warts are not usually painful. Warts most commonly occur on fingers, around your fingernails, and the backs of your hands.

Warts that grow on the sole of your foot are called plantar warts and may become painful to walk on. Plantar warts often grow in clusters on the ball of your foot and often feel like you have pebbles in your shoe.

Flat warts grow anywhere on your skin and are smaller and smoother than common warts or plantar warts. Women most frequently get flat warts on their legs, and men get them around their beard area. Flat warts usually grow in larger numbers than other warts, from 20 to 100 at a time.

Genital warts affect the genital area as well as the inner thighs, lower abdomen and buttocks.  Certain strains of these warts can eventually lead to cancers of the penis, anus, and cervix and should be treated to prevent sexual transmission.  

How do dermatologists treat warts?

When warts don’t go away by themselves, Dr. Borkowsky recommends a variety of treatment options to remove them, including:

  • Cryotherapy, a freezing technique
  • Cantharidin, a chemical compound that causes the wart to blister and fall off
  • Electrosurgery, in which the wart is burned off
  • Curettage, a scraping technique
  • Excision, or cutting out the wart
  • Laser removal
  • Chemical peels for larger areas of warts
  • Immunotherapy to fight off recurring warts
  • Bleomycin, a chemotherapy agent, injected directly into warts

If you’re tired of living with unsightly warts, call or schedule an appointment using the online system, so Dr. Borkowsky can provide the most effective treatment option.