EXPERT Q&A

Q: Do you do cautherization of facial warts?

What our experts say:

Facial or flat warts are caused by a virus and can be treated in many ways. It is important to keep in mind that, regardless of their size, warts involve only the superficial layers of the skin, also known as the epidermis, and treatments should focus on this layer of the skin. Treating below this layer can result in scarring. Commonly used treatments include light freezing with liquid nitrogen or trying to produce peeling of the affected areas by using a retinoid (a vitamin A acid medication like Retin-A).  Another option can can include using a topical prescription medication like imiquimod to stimulate the skin’s own immune system to fight the virus. Very light cauterization is an option but it is more uncomfortable and can cause discoloration in darker skin types. The success of any of these treatments can be increased by daily use of sunscreen because it protects the skin’s immune system, which is weakened by ultraviolet radiation (UVA and UVB rays).

Bucay Nb33

Dr. Vivian Bucay

Dermatologist

San Antonio, Texas