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Warts, Hair Loss & Growths

What Are Warts?

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Warts are unpleasant little growths that are caused by a skin virus. The virus is contracted by direct contact with another person who was infected with the virus or sometimes, by what is known as fomite contact. Fomite contact simply means the contact is not from person to person but by indirect contact such as coming in contact with the wart virus in a locker room shower stall as you shower and become infected with a plantar’s wart. Direct contact is probably the more common method of contracting the wart virus, as when you might shake hands with an infected person and develop a wart on your fingers.

Warts are treated by any one of a variety of techniques, from freezing the virus with liquid nitrogen to the use of an electric cautery, a laser device, or the application of various chemicals. Sometimes, a given wart is amenable to just cutting it out. One thing is for sure, it is common for warts to be difficult to cure!FingerWarts

What’s the Story With Hair Loss?

Dermatologists refer to hair loss as “alopecia.” But there are very many different cause of alopecia, ranging from genetics, to trauma, to hair pulling, to endocrine disease, tumors, rheumatologic disorders, medications, allergies, and immunologic disorders. Dermatologists generally have a vast experience with alopecias of all different types and when a man or woman presents, it usually does not take long for the dermatologist to have an idea of whether he/she is dealing simply with genetics (i.e, “born to have it”) and which does not deserve an expensive evaluation, to one of the other types of alopecia.

My experience has been that people with alopecia are frequently so bothered by their condition that they are willing to try just about anything…and may spend untold sums of money doing nothing more than enriching the pocket of an unscrupulous website’s owner. My advise is see a dermatologist that you have confidence in and bring with you all of your recent blood tests and a clear and concise list of every medication and supplement you take…and then follow his/her advise without breaking the bank. The good news is, is that most patients with alopecia get thinned hair but do not go bald so lower the stress level for yourself!

    How Many Different Types of Skin Growth Are There?

    This is a great question and the reality is that there are simply volumes of dermatology textbook FILLED with different growth after growth after growth. The natural question that patients wonder about then, is how do dermatologists approach the myriad of growth that patients get? First of all, common growths are common and dermatologists spend many years in training and practicing in order to develop a skilled eye as to whether a growth is absolutely harmless (benign) or appears suspicious for malignancy. Based on his training and his examination, oftentimes a dermatologist will want to take a skin biopsy to confirm the nature of the lesion.

    You should rest assured that taking a skin biopsy is a routine and generally painless procedure. Most dermatologists are practiced enough at this procedure that the patient barely feels a thing and in nothing more than a few minutes has a small bandaid to show for his trouble. At that point, the lesion (the growth) is sent to the dermatopathology laboratory for analysis. At Martin Dermatology, when the report comes back, we always call the patient…it’s never a “no news is good news” deal! The patient deserves to have contact with our office to find out definitively that everything is OK! Call us at (239) 208-4088 for an appointment.