Warts appear when you become infected with a virus from the human papillomavirus (HPV) family. The virus promotes excessive production of keratin, a protein that makes up the top layer of skin. This rapid cell growth causes thick, hard skin to build up in the area of infection. These skin growths are noncancerous. Warts can take anywhere from weeks to months to appear after a person is infected with HPV.
Not everyone who encounters HPV will develop warts, because the virus attacks the body’s immune system and everyone’s immune system functions differently. Risk factors include age, as well as the condition of the skin and immune system.
Warts should be treated or removed if they change in shape or color, start oozing pus, become painful and irritating, or if they start to multiply. Popular medical treatment options include salicylic acid peels or nitrogen freezing. Surgery, shaving the area with a surgical razor, and laser treatments are also effective at removing warts.
A boil commonly begins as an infected hair follicle. Typically it starts as a red lump and then becomes an abscess filled with bacteria and pus. Sometimes boils can resist at-home treatment and medication and need special care by a physician, especially when near sensitive areas near organs or skin folds.
Boils can be small or large, and are usually tender to the touch. They usually form in places that experience a lot of friction, such as the inner thighs or armpits, or in areas that are often sweaty or covered in hair. When a boil forms, you may notice swelling, pain and redness, and a tip that looks white or yellow.
It’s important to have a boil looked at by a licensed dermatologist to ensure the right care and treatment plan is in place. Need help diagnosing and treating a boil? Call us today.
Cysts are benign pockets of tissue that are filled with fluids, oils, or pus. They can appear on the body or under the skin as a result of clogged oil glands, trapped hair follicles, or infections.
The most common type of cyst is an epidermal cyst, which is filled with the protein keratin and develops when skin tissues grow deeper into the skin instead of shedding. Sebaceous cysts are also normal and benign; these cysts are small, round bumps that occur around blocked oil glands.
While the majority of cysts are smooth, harmless, and don’t cause any pain, some cysts may need draining or surgical intervention for removal, especially if the growth is particularly large, painful, or infected. If you have questions or concerns about an unusual lump or bump, contact Florida Dermatology and Skin Cancer Centers today to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations.