Caused by infection with a type of human papillomavirus (HPV), warts are unsightly, small rough growths on the skin. While warts can affect any area of the skin, they most commonly appear on hands and feet. Although most warts are harmless, there are several different types of wart. Types of wart include the common wart (verruca vulgaris), flat wart (verruca plana), plantar wart (verruca plantaris), filiform or digitate wart, periungual wart and genital wart. While genital warts affect the skin of an around the genitalia, the other types of wart usually appear on only specific areas of the skin.
Wart Removal Procedure Options
Although some GPs offer wart removal procedures paid for by the NHS, in most areas of the UK this is no longer the case. Depending on where the wart/s are located, you will have a choice of options for the wart removal procedures.
The easiest and most convenient option is that of cryotherapy. Using a specialist gun, a thin film of liquid nitrogen is sprayed directly on the wart. Reaching temperatures between -20ºC and -30ºC, the liquid nitrogen freezes the skin and kills the virus. After a period of scabbing, the warts then simply fall off. Another option is the use of a Hyfrecator.
A low-powered electric current is applied on the wart and surrounding skin to destroy affected tissue directly. Second only to cryotherapy, hyfrecator wart removal procedures leave skin intact and reduce the possibility of lasting skin scarring.
Using pulse dye or carbon dioxide lasers, the treatment is considered less destructive with a greater likelihood of healing without scarring. While carbon dioxide lasers require a local anaesthetic, pulse dye lasers do not require sedation or even local anaesthetic.
Wart curettage involves the use of a sharp scalpel to excise or shave the wart from the skin’s surface. Requiring local anaesthetic, another downside to curettage is that the possibility of scarring is increased compared to the options listed above.