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Mary Jean, RN
Mary Jean, RN, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 2
Experience:  RN x 18 yrs, exper. in pediatrics, adults, OB-GYN, Adoption, Bipolar, Anxiety, Sensory Integration.
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I had about 5 warts on my knee. They started to spread up

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I had about 5 warts on my knee. They started to spread up to my thigh and I finally went and got them all burned off by a dermatologist except now its worse! I have horrible bright red scars and I thought they would go away but instead it has now spread throughout my leg. I can never wear shorts because im so embarassed about my leg. How do I get rid of this without making it worse again?
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Mary Jean, RN replied 10 years ago.
Any time you have this procedure done, this "burning off" of warts from any part of the body, there is risk that you will develop a scar. Scars may be more pronounced in darker skin types and in certain ethnicities. Scars can even end up appearing worse than the original wart that was burned (electrodesiccated).

The good news is that these scars will likely fade some with time, and also can be treated by the dermatologist who electrodesiccated them. There are prescrption creams that can be used to minimize the scars. They may never remove them completely, but they can improve their appearance. It is worth talking to your dermatologist about this. If s/he is not willing to listen to your concerns, you may wish to seek a second opinion.

More drastically, a plastic surgeon can repair the scars to make them much less noticeable, but that is generally only done when scarring is severe and in a noticeable location on the body. Most health insurance plans will cover the prescription medication to help minimize the scar. Many will cover the plastic surgery to correct the scars if they decide that it is medically necessary. You would need to check your own health insurance aggreement to determine what applies to your situation.

However, although you may have several scars from this procedure, it also sounds like you may have additional warts that have developed. This can happen, but don't worry. These can still be treated. And you have at least 3 options for how to treat them. One is to have them electrodesiccated like the first warts, which may cause similar scarring.

A second option would be to use a prescription topical (goes on the skin) medication to make them go away....something like a medication called Aldara. You would have to cover the wart with this medication, and then tape over it, and keep it taped for 24 hours, at which time you would remove the tape, clean the area, and reapply for another 24 hours. This can take several months to be effective, depending on the size and number of the warts. But it is painless and effective.

A third option would be to use cryotherapy, or freezing, of the warts. The scars that result from this procedure may be better than the scars from the electrodesiccating, but your dermatologist can tell you better what to expect. However, there would be scarring.

A final option would be to do nothing. Most warts go away on their own in 18 months to 2 years. A long time to wait, to be sure, but can be very effective if you're willing to be patient.

Also, it's important to note that you may develop new warts at any time in your life. Once the virus that causes a wart is in your system, it can cause recurrence of wart symptoms at any time. So, if you get new warts in a year or 2, it doesn't mean that these warts weren't treated adequetly. It just means that you got new warts.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you think I may be able to provide any additional information, or if you think of any other questions, just let me know. I wish you the best with these pesky warts.

Mary Jean
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