Warts are raised bumps on your skin caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Although warts are generally not dangerous, they are ugly, potentially embarrassing, contagious, and they can be painful.
Common warts usually grow on your fingers and toes but can appear elsewhere. They have a rough, grainy appearance and a rounded top. Common warts are grayer than the surrounding skin.
Plantar warts grow on the soles of the feet. Unlike other warts, plantar warts grow into your skin, not out of it. You can tell if you have a plantar wart if you notice what appears to be a small hole in the bottom of your foot that is surrounded by hardened skin. Plantar warts can make walking uncomfortable.
Flat warts usually grow on the face, thighs, or arms. They are small and not immediately noticeable. Flat warts have a flat top, as if they have been scraped. They can be pink, brownish, or slightly yellow.
Filiform warts grow around your mouth or nose and sometimes on your neck or under your chin. They are small and shaped like a tiny flap or tag of skin. Filiform warts are the same color as your skin.
Periungual warts grow under and around the toenails and fingernails. They can be painful and affect nail growth.
Depending on the location and size of the wart results can take 1 – 4 treatments. Warts on the hands & feet, and large warts may take 4 or more treatments for optimal results. Laser wart treatments are performed every 4 weeks.
The energy from the laser does two important things in eliminating the wart.
Without any comfort measures laser wart treatment feels similar to a small snapping rubber band. There is no discomfort after the laser pulse.
Surgery is typically done with a scalpel, since there is less chance of scarring than with a laser. In this procedure, the facial wart is essentially scooped out of the skin. This method of wart removal is usually reserved for extremely difficult warts.