What is a Wart?
Warts are a common skin condition, most commonly found on the hands, fingers, and around the fingernails. They look like small, fleshy peas, but can also be large in size. It is also common for warts to appear in clusters on the knees and elbows. Warts are caused by HPV, otherwise known as the human papilloma virus. Although warts are harmless for the most part, they can be unsightly and bothersome. Many times, over-the-counter wart removal treatments are not enough and the wart must be removed by a professional dermatologist. Our board-certified dermatologists at Snyder Dermatology in Austin, TX carefully remove warts of all shapes and sizes.
What Causes Warts
The cause of common warts is the human papilloma virus. HPV lives in the flat, thin cells that are found on the skin’s surface and also surfaces of the mouth, throat, head, penis, vagina, cervix and anus. Out of the 100 HPV types, about 60 cause warts. Warts occur from having direct contact with HPV, which can be spread from person to person through skin-to-skin contact. Warts can also be the result of making contact with an object used by a person infected with HPV such as exercise equipment or a towel. The virus is usually spread through breaks in the skin such as a scrape or hangnail.
"I have had 2 recent visits to "Snyderma Dermatology." My first appointment was a skin check to look for skin cancer, suspicious moles, etc. I saw the third doctor in the practice, Dr. A (can't remember her full name but she's the only Dr. whose last name isn't Snyder). Great experience, she took a thorough look at my whole body, measured a couple of larger freckles and moles and recommended I return in 6 months to re-measure and make sure the spots aren't growing. We discussed my options around removing a mole on my neck and she was very informative with no pressure. I expressed a desire to learn more about skin care treatments to prevent signs of aging. We talked briefly about some options and she recommended I come in to see Rachel, their aesthetician, for a complimentary visit, where I could learn more about products and procedures. This was fine by me because that is exactly what I wanted. My second visit was scheduled a week later. Rachel was right on time and very friendly. She spent close to an hour with me and was very informative. She wanted to know my concerns and goals and tailored her advice to those. She did not push products or services, and was very open with pricing. I loved my time with her. I purchased several products, which I had intended to do, that's why I came in. I was happy to hear that the soap and sunscreen I buy at Target are good products (yay for saving money there). Couple random notes: Yes, the staff is pretty and glamorous. I would hope so, as they are there to talk about having nice skin. They are also friendly. You do have to pay to park in the garage, this did not faze me. On the topic of Retin-A: yes, you can get a prescription for it. No, your insurance will not pay for it and it will cost you full price, not your prescription co-pay. Insurance will typically only pay for for Retin-A under 2 conditions: 1- you are under 18 and treating acne or 2- you have a Diagnosable skin condition such as Rosacea, and can show that you have tried other, less expensive medications to treat it. There is no way any insurance company is going to pony up the cash to pay for Retin-A for cosmetic reasons. Trust me, I've been down that road many times. So buying a retinol product from the office does not end up being more expensive that Retin-A. Also, Retin-A has a high concentration of retinol and it is better to start at a lower concentration (to see how your skin tolerates it) and work your way up. Great experience, I am planning to go back."- W.H. / Yelp / Jun 16, 2011
"Dr. Renee Snyder isn't cold. She's awesome. She has a dry sense of humor that I find hilarious. She puts you at ease with her professional, calm demeanor. The biopsy of my moles barely registered, pain-wise, and it was over quickly. She's very upfront and direct about medical information, and was patient with the questions I had. I wouldn't go anywhere else. Oh, and if you are not a high-maintenance, high-style kinda gal, don't be put off by the fancy office and pretty office staff...they are very helpful and accepting of everyone...makeup and stilettos or not."- S.T. / Yelp / Mar 25, 2012
"One evening I was getting ready for bed, scratched my back, and came away with blood. I looked in the mirror and saw a mole that looked exactly like all the ones that I'd seen in brochures of what moles aren't supposed to look like. I researched dermatologists, called Dr. Snyder's office, and set up an appointment as soon as possible. Dr. Snyder did a full skin check, confirming that the mole was really funky looking, and did a punch biopsy straight away. Just under a week later I got a phone call from her confirming that it was a melanoma, and we made an appointment for a wide local excision. I had another atypical mole excised a few months post-melanoma surgery, and since then I've had regular skin checks and several biopsies. Dr. Snyder really knows her stuff, and her professional demeanor and ability to answer all of my questions in a straightforward way puts me at ease. She's friendly and nice, but she's more focused on the task at hand than trying to be my bestie. Given most of my appointments with her have involved wearing nothing but a hospital gown and/or being cut open, professionalism and efficiency are key. The office is clean and bright and the staff are super nice. Parking isn't free and there's a bit of a dipsydoodle to get from the parking garage down to the lobby to go up to the 4th floor, but I'm really happy to have found a doctor I can trust."- M.F. / Yelp / May 01, 2012
"I looked around in Dallas and Austin for a dermatologist I could trust and visited a few different doctors before I finally found myself in Dr. Snyder's office. She is the only dermatologist I've found who talks to you like a real person. She understood that I was kind of scared about having weird moles - who isn't scared these days, the way the media totally freaks us out - and she talked me through every procedure. Her office staff were really down to earth too, it is a very nice office but doesn't feel intimidating. I would be comfortable going there with any concerns. Also as a total plus these days, they are completely flexible to helping you figure out insurance.....def not something every office is willing to deal with."- A.C. / Yelp / May 08, 2015
"Dr Snyder was very kind to my 80 year old mother who was there for a skin check. She spoke directly to my mother, which was much appreciated by my mother and by me. Some professionals talk to me about my mother when the appointment is for my mother. Dr Snyder was thorough and efficient when looking at skin lesions and moles. She froze several moles off and did a biopsy on one. All of this took no more than 30 minutes. All of the instruments needed for treatment were right there, ready to use and so we didn't have to wait while the equipment was accessed. I was very impressed by Dr Snyder and by her office staff. Will recommend her highly."- C.P. / ZocDoc / Jun 22, 2015
Symptoms of Warts
Common wart symptoms include bumps that are tender, grainy at the top, and fleshy feeling. The area with the wart can be rough to the touch. Plantar warts look like light brown or flesh-colored lumps that are speckled with tiny, black spots, which are clotted blood vessels. These warts often appear on the soles of the feet. Flat warts are smaller, smoother and flatter compared to other types and can usually be found on the face and sometimes the legs. Genital warts appear in the pubic area, on the genitals, and in or around the vaginal area or anus. These warts appear as small, pink, red or flesh-colored growths. They can appear in clusters of 3 or 4 and can grow and spread rapidly. Though usually not painful, they can bleed or itch.
How to Treat Warts
Even after initial treatment, warts can reoccur so it is important to find the right treatment method to help keep the condition at bay. Freezing a wart is a common treatment and is performed with success. With freezing, a doctor utilizes liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart away. A blister will form around the wart where the dead tissues will fall off within a week. A substance called cantharidin can cause extreme inflammation to the skin when applied to a wart. This chemical is extracted from a blister beetle and it is applied to the skin to form a blister around the wart, it is a common and popular treatment because the application is pain free. Other medications to treat warts include bleomycin, which is injected into the wart to kill the virus, and Aldara, which is a prescription cream that can be applied directly to the wart. When other methods are ineffective, surgery may be needed to cut away the wart. An electric needle or cryosurgery, or deep freezing, are methods that can be used to destroy the base of the wart.
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Though most warts prove to be harmless and some patients choose to use home treatments, they often don’t work. In addition, warts can spread, become bothersome and can lead to cosmetic issues. In any case, it’s normally a good idea to get them checked out by a trained medical professional. He or she can examine the wart to determine the type and best course of treatment. Call our office today for a consultation to get rid of any warts you may have now, as well as preventing them from reoccurring in the future. Our office has the staff, tools and experience to get you back to a wart-free existence.