Warts Doctor

Warts are almost as common as mosquito bites, and most of the time they’re just about as irritating and harmless.

All warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), one of the world’s most common viruses. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that 20 million Americans are currently infected with HPV. Not all of these people develop warts, and among those who do, most warts disappear on their own or respond to home wart removal.

When to See a Doctor for Warts

Some warts, though, can be painful, or signs of more serious conditions. Genital and oral warts have been linked to cervical and oral cancer, and common plantar warts can become quite painful if home wart removal is unsuccessful. These situations indicate a need to see a doctor for warts.

Sometimes warts can be mistaken for early signs of skin cancer, so check with your doctor before starting the wart removal process at home.

See a doctor for warts if you have a skin lesion with any of the following:

  • Bleeding
  • Growth or rapid spread
  • Increasing pain
  • Swelling.

The following should pursue medical wart removal right away:

  • Children with warts on the face, genital area or anus
  • Diabetics and those with peripheral arterial disease with warts on the leg or foot
  • Infants with warts anywhere
  • People over age 60 who’ve never had a wart.

See a doctor for warts if you experience any signs of infection related to your wart, including:

  • Fever
  • Increasing pain
  • Pus
  • Red streaks traveling from your wart.

Other Indications for Medical Wart Removal

For certain kinds of wart removal, doctor involvement is necessary. Most often, you should see a doctor for warts if your own wart removal efforts haven’t worked after two to three months.

If you have genital warts, medical wart removal and treatment is always essential. The HPV strains that cause genital warts are spread by sexual contact, even if the person with HPV isn’t showing symptoms. If genital warts develop, they might not appear until weeks or even months after exposure. In fact, the CDC estimates that 50 percent of sexually active men and women will have genital warts at some point.

If you notice a small bump or group of bumps, see your doctor for warts. Don’t attempt genital wart removal on your own.

Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009). Genital HPV infection: CDC fact sheet. Retrieved June 22, 2010, from: http://www.cdc.gov/std/HPV/STDFact-HPV.htm.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010). Human papillomavirus (HPV). Retrieved June 22, 2010, from: http://www.cdc.gov/hpv/.

KidsHealth. (2007). About warts. Retrieved June 22, 2010, from: http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/skin/wart.html#.

Warts Information Center. (2010). Wart removal. Retrieved June 22, 2010, from: http://www.warts.org/wart-removal.html.