In most cases, when it looks like you have a wart, that’s exactly what it is. It’s nothing to worry about, just use a wart freezing spray or gel and watch it fade away. But what if you have tried that and it’s not working? There are a few different skin conditions that can trick you into thinking they’re warts, so here’s what you might be dealing with.
When it’s a skin tag
Skin tags are often easily confused for warts. They look much the same, except skin tags tend to “hang” off the skin a little more and tend to be more common under the arms, on the neck, around the groin, and under the breasts. There’s no real explanation for them, but they are harmless and easily removed using creams for skin tags. Much like warts, they may only require a single use of certain strong creams, you just need to choose the right one.
When it’s actually an infectious disease
If you’re suffering from a breakout of multiple wart-like growths, it’s a good idea to take yourself to the doctor. Molluscum contagiosum is a highly contagious disease and, though it’s much more common in kids, some adults do catch it. Usually, it presents if your immune system is weakened or if you have a pre-existing skin condition like certain kinds of eczema. The good news is that beyond growing those unsightly lesions, it tends to clear up by itself in 6-12 months. You just don’t want to spread it to anyone else and if the lesions are on your face or causing you embarrassment your doctor can prescribe medications like trichloroacetic acid to make them less prevalent.
When it’s something more chronic
There are a lot of different types of eczema and psoriasis. Pustular psoriasis is a common one that shows up in many adults and looks like little pus-filled nodules. These may look infectious but they’re not. However, they can cause issues like fever, nausea, and muscle weakness. There is no cure for the many forms of psoriasis, as it’s chronic, but there are several different ways to treat the symptoms.
When it’s time to see the doctor
One of the best reasons to have a dermatologist on call is to quickly diagnose any skin conditions that you don’t recognize or that might be causing you some concern. Your skin is ever changing due to bacteria, hormones, your skincare regimen, and so on. If you’re ever concerned about your skin, they can quickly help ease your concern. On the other hand, if it does prove to be a symptom for something more serious like skin cancer, they are all the more likely to quickly refer you to a specialist so you can deal with it ASAP.
Even if that wart isn’t a wart, there’s a good chance it’s nothing harmful. However, if you’re ever concerned you don’t recognize something on the skin, don’t be afraid of talking to your doctor or dermatologist about it. It’s better to clear your head of any potential risk before you worry too much.