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Warts, What Causes Them, How You Can Get Them, and Treatments

From the Colorado Dermatology Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Daily Do of Dermatology - Title

Video Transcript:

Here’s another daily tip from your friendly local dermatologist.

Okay, warts, there’s something that you get when you kiss a frog. Or….. maybe not. Okay, so warts are viruses, and they’re the HPV virus. There’s over a hundred different types of HPV virus out there. Some of those viruses cause warts. Some of those viruses can cause cancers, like cervical cancer, or other things. And then, there’s a whole host of other HPV viruses that we’re not really quite sure what they’re related to in terms of other diseases that they cause. But the more we learn, the more we discover that these wart viruses are actually connected to a number of different other diseases.

Now since warts are viruses, they’re usually spread by direct contact. So, if you have a wart on your hand and you shake someone’s hand, they could get the wart virus. If you’re at the swimming pool, and someone has a bunch of warts on their feet, and they walk on the ground, and then you walk right on top of them, there’s a chance you could get a wart that way. But it’s usually with direct human to human contact.

Now we all know what warts look like. They’re kind of raised thick areas that are kind of rough. But a lot of other things are kind of raised, thick areas that are kind of rough. So if there’s any question about whether or not you have a wart, or perhaps a callus or maybe even a skin cancer, then you need to see your local provider and make sure that it is just a wart.

There’s lots of ways to treat warts. But in order for treatment for warts to be successful, we need the cooperation of your immune system. Because warts are basically viruses that are hiding from your immune system. And what we need to do, in fact almost all the modalities that we use to take care of warts, are to try to get your bodies to recognize that there’s a virus there, and then your immune system eats it, and once your immune system eats it, it develops an immune response and hopefully, you won’t get any more of that type of wart again. So, all the treatment modalities that we use, mostly rely on some form of just destruction or irritation. Because destruction and irritation brings in the immune system, and then as we’re destroying it or irritating it from the outside, your immune system is meeting it from the inside, and then they destroy the wart.

We can use liquid nitrogen, and there’s a video on our website about what liquid nitrogen is. We can use different things that are not FDA-approved like beetle juice. We can simply use stuff like duct tape, you know the stuff that keeps your muffler on your car. If you just put a little piece of duct tape on a wart, when you go to sleep every night, and you take it off in the morning. Our bodies weren’t made to have duct tape on them. So that’s going to cause irritation. Irritation is going to bring in that immune system. And then as you rip the duct tape off every day, hopefully that’s going to remove some of the ward every day.

But please, no matter if you’re treating these at home or providers [are] treating them, if you’re not making progress, if it’s not getting better and going away in a reasonable amount of time, then that area probably should be biopsied. Because sometimes, cancers can fool us into looking like a wart, and we don’t want to make that mistake. All right. Hope this helped, and remember, don’t kiss too many frogs.

Dr. Reagan Anderson is a local dermatologist from Colorado Springs.

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