Alternative names:Warts, Verrucas
New Wart Treatment: New to the Harley Street Dermatology Clinic is a treatment for difficult warts with immune therapy - Diphencyprone (DCP). When DCP is applied to the skin, it boosts the immune response in the skin and this helps to clear the virus responsible for causing warts and verrucas. 80-90% of patients with warts will respond to treatment with DCP.
Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus, which enters the skin surface, causing growth and thickening of the top (epidermal) layer of the skin. This produces the rough, hard texture of a wart. Warts are contagious, and close skin-to-skin contact can pass on the infection. The risk of infection is increased if the skin is damaged or wet and in contact with roughened surfaces, for example, in communal swimming pools. After becoming infected, it can take several weeks for a wart or verruca to appear.
Warts appear most often on the hands and feet, though they can spread to other parts of the body, for example around the nails, lips and genitals. Verrucas are warts that develop on the soles of the feet. Warts vary in appearance depending on where they are on the body and how thick the skin is but the common wart is often round, firm and raised, with a rough or ‘warty’ surface (see pictures). On close inspection, many tiny black dots may be seen in the centre, caused by ruptured blood vessels.
Most people will have warts at some point in their life, though they tend to affect children and young adults. Warts are generally not painful, though verrucas can be sore to stand on. Some people find their warts embarrassing and those on the fingers may interfere with normal daily activities. Without treatment, the length of time it takes a wart to disappear will vary between people. As a rough guide, about a third of warts have gone within three months, and most will have resolved within 2 years. Verrucas can take a lot longer than this to disappear.
Warts are usually harmless and heal by themselves, however, treatment can speed this process up.
Treatment options include:
Treatment for warts are not always effective first time, and a wart can sometimes recur.
Our Specialist Dermatologists at the Harley Street Dermatology Clinic can offer effective treatment to help cure or control viral warts.
For further information please visit the NHS website and the British Association of Dermatology Patient leaflet.