Warts – Moles and more removal information
Well, the plain truth is most moles and warts are rather harmless. However, they can be embarrassing, aggravating and bothersome. Some moles and warts should be looked at by dermatologist who specializes in skin abnormalities and can perform surgery if necessary. There are many reasons for surgical removal of warts and moles; it can be challenging to know how best to proceed.
What is a mole and where can you find them?
Typically moles are brown or black; they are growths on the skin that can appear alone or in groups anywhere on the body. Moles have often been referred to as beauty marks. Depending upon their size, shape and color you may or may not consider your moles to be a beauty mark. With time, moles often change usually slowly. They may become raised, darker, larger and sometimes disappear. Sometimes moles have hair growing from within. It is quite common to have as many as 40 moles by adulthood.
What are warts?
Warts are annoying skin growths. They are spread by direct contact with a human papillomavirus, or HPV. Warts are contagious; once infected you can infect yourself again through contact by simply touching the wart and rubbing or scratching other parts of your body. Warts do not appear quickly it may take from 2 to 9 months for a wart to develop under the skin before it is noticeable. Contact with an open sore or scratch from the HPV is an easy way to spread warts. You can spread the virus by sharing personal items such as towels razors and the like. If you already have a wart, a good way to prevent further virus spread is to keep covered with a Band-Aid.
Types of moles:
Normal moles are quite common and appear on most people in their first 20 years or so of life. Moles can be elevated, flat, large or small. One common cause is by overexposure to the sun.
Congenital Nevus (plural is nevi)
This type of mole commonly shows up at birth or shortly thereafter. These occur in about 1% of the population, something like one out of 100. There is a distinction made between a small and giant Nevus. If it is less than 1.5 cm it is considered small while any Nevus over 20 cm is considered giant.
Dysplastic Nevi – Characteristics include uneven edges and color with dark brown centers and lighter edges that are irregular in shape. These moles are typically larger than the average pencil eraser. While most of these moles are not dangerous, they do tend to be hereditary and are passed from one generation to the next. You should keep a close eye on them noting any changes.
A wart may be flat, smooth or a bump with a rough surface. The common warts are frequently found on the palms of your hands, fingers or feet. Plantar warts typically form on the feet however the palms of hands are a secondary source for plantar warts. These warts are usually larger and more painful than the common warts. Less common warts called Filiform appear around the nose mouth and beard area. Periungual warts grow around and under toenails and fingernails.
Some common complaints that lead most people to want to remove warts are:
- Unsightly appearance on exposed body parts such as face neck and arms legs.
- Difficulty shaving around an area infected by a wart.
- Painful walking with a foot infected with a wart.
- Painful to do daily chores with warts on hands.
- Embarrassed by what people think.
Warts may disappear on their own; however it may take months or even years if ever they do. They should be removed before they become bothersome, painful or spread within the body or to others.
There are a variety of methods for wart removal. Depending upon the size and type of wart you have your doctor may use one of several methods. Nitrogen is frequently used to freeze the wart with a larger wart taking multiple visits and multiple procedures. Another option is to have the wart cut out using a scraping or digging out method possibly requiring stitches. Electrosurgery is burning the wart with an electrical current.
Those treatments, while effective in removing the wart, do not treat the cause. They only destroy the wart but do not kill the virus that caused it. Even with these treatments it is possible the wart will come back.