Warts are small lumps that often develop on the skin of the hands.
Warts vary in appearance and may develop singly or in clusters. Some are more likely to affect particular areas of the body. For example, verrucas are warts that usually develop on the soles of the feet.
Warts are non-cancerous, but can resemble certain cancers.
Most people will have warts at some point in their life. They tend to affect children and teenagers more than adults.
What causes warts?
Warts are caused by an infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV).
The virus causes an excess amount of keratin, a hard protein, to develop in the top skin layer (epidermis). The extra keratin produces the rough, hard texture of a wart.
Are warts contagious?
Warts aren’t considered very contagious, but they can be caught by close skin-to-skin contact. The infection can also be transmitted indirectly from contaminated objects or surfaces, such as the area surrounding a swimming pool.
You are more likely to get infected if your skin is wet or damaged. After you become infected, it can take weeks or even months for a wart or verruca to appear.
When to see your GP
Most types of warts are easy to identify because they have a distinctive appearance. You should always see your GP if you have a growth on your skin you are unable to identify or are worried about.
Your GP will be able to tell if it’s a wart simply by looking at it. Where it is on your body and how it affects surrounding skin will also be taken into consideration.
You should visit your GP if you have a wart that:
- changes in appearance
- causes you significant pain, distress or embarrassment
Most warts are harmless and clear up without treatment.
The length of time it takes a wart to disappear will vary from person to person. It may take up to two years for the viral infection to leave your system and for the wart to disappear.
You might decide to treat your wart if it is painful, or in an area that is causing discomfort or embarrassment.
Common methods of treatment include:
- salicylic acid
- cryotherapy (freezing the skin cells)
- duct tape
- chemical treatments
Treatment for warts is not always completely effective, and a wart will sometimes return following treatment.
How does it work?
Our private treatments are carried out by highly experienced local GPs and Associate Clinicians. They have a specific interest in dermatology in general practice and extensive expertise in minor surgery. You will receive a single appointment, including consultation and the procedure.
The price is fixed and includes treatment at our modern clinics and includes all consulting and surgical facilities, nursing staff, consumables including surgical treatment room, surgical instrumentation, local anaesthetic, dressings, biopsy assessment of lesions where appropriate together with a follow-up letter.
I have a wart I’d like removed
Please contact us to find out more about our wart removal service in Plymouth, Devon. Call us on 0333 332 2105 or complete the below form.
BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT
We will send you a confirmation email or letter, directions to the clinic, your payment receipt and a consent form which you should read but which you do not need to sign until you are certain you wish to proceed with the removal of your lesion.
Your appointment includes a consultation with the clinician followed by the procedure, where it is agreed to proceed. The clinician will discuss your general health and medication. They will explain the procedure, whether there is a likelihood of recurrence and scarring, and how to prevent infection.
If you wish to proceed, you will sign a consent form. You will be awake throughout the operation and can ask questions. You will feel an initial sting from the local anaesthetic injection. The anaesthetic will wear off after a few hours and you can take paracetamol (not aspirin) if you have any mild discomfort.
Clinicians use a variety of techniques to remove skin lesions including excision and cautery. The procedure sometimes involves stitches or sutures. The clinician will advise you when you will need to make an appointment at your own surgery to have the stitches removed.
Although it is unlikely that your lesion represents a danger to your health, we may send it for examination and let you and your GP know the result as soon as we receive it. We will also send you a patient satisfaction questionnaire which we hope you will complete.