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What Are Warts?

Warts are a type of skin lesion caused by a virus known as the Human Papiloma Virus (HPV). They are very common and it is estimated that 75% of the human population has a form of the virus. Infections occur through tiny cuts or weak spots in the skin. The virus expresses itself as bumps or growths on the skin. These growths are benign and not a serious health risk. They can, however be painful or uncomfortable and often require treatment.


Warts can appear in a few different ways on the foot. The most common appearance is small, rough, fleshy and grainy bumps on the bottom of the toes, arch or heel. They can develop a callous over the top of the warts causing it to be thickened and tough.They may have tiny black spots or a "pepper pot" appearance.  Warts are tender when squeezed from side to side and there is a loss of skin tension lines.


Depending on the location of the wart, different treatments can be effective.  

-Cantharidin: Otherwise known as "Blister Beetle", this is a topical product placed on the wart by your doctor to cause the wart to die and blister off.

-Cryotherapy: "Freezing Spray" can be used on the warts in order to kill of the blood vessels feeding the area. This method is less effective on the bottom of the foot due to the thick skin in the area.

-Bleomycin: An injection of bleomycin, a chemotherapy, into the wart can help to kill the lesions. This is very effective in the case of large warts or warts that have a mosaic pattern. These injections are an off label use of the product, but have proven safe and effective in the literature.

-Topical Medication: There are a veriety of topical medications including salicylic acid and 5-fluorouracil. These are often used in addition to other treatments.

When to Treat a Wart

If you suspect a wart, it is best to have the area checked out by a professional.  Although most lesions are benign, there are some cancers lesions that may have a similar apearance. If a growth is painful or enlarging, you should seek treatment.

If you suspect you may have a wart, give us a call at 480-632-5757 or book online at 


Christopher Suykerbuyk

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