Seed warts are abnormal growths that develop on the skin, usually due to infection with the human papilloma virus, also known as HPV. There are usually no uncomfortable symptoms associated with the development of seed warts unless the skin becomes damaged or broken, at which time pain or infection may occur. In most cases, treatment is not necessary, although some people prefer to have the warts removed for cosmetic reasons. Over-the-counter or prescription medications are usually all that is needed to remove the warts, although surgical removal may sometimes be necessary. Any specific questions or concerns about seed warts in an individual situation should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.
The hands and fingers are the most common location for seed warts, although they may appear on any area of the body, including the genitals. Although there is no cure for the virus responsible for the development of these warts, the lesions themselves can often be removed if they are causing physical or emotional complications. In some cases, seed warts may disappear on their own without any medical treatment after a few months or years.
Over-the-counter wart removal medications are often successful at reducing the size of seed warts. Many of these medications are made with an ingredient known as salicylic acid, which works by attacking one layer of the lesion at a time until the wart disappears. As a wart can contain multiple layers, repeated application is often required. Prescription-strength medications may be used if over-the-counter medications are not successful.
Cryotherapy is a procedure that is frequently used to remove seed warts. Liquid nitrogen is used to essentially freeze off the wart. Mild skin irritation may occur as a result of this method of removal, and repeated treatments may be necessary. Home remedies such as tea tree oil may be used, although it may take several weeks or months to notice a reduction in the size of the warts.
If all other treatment methods fail or if the seed warts are particularly large, surgical removal may be recommended. This procedure can usually be performed in a doctor's office with the use of a local anesthetic. The risk of infection increases when this method is used, so a topical or oral antibiotic may be prescribed to lessen these risks. The supervising physician can help the patient decide on the most appropriate treatment options for an individual situation.