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Treatment resistant warts

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Old 08-03-2005, 05:57 PM   #1
S. Thomas
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2
S. Thomas HB User
Treatment resistant warts

Hello, this is my first post on this board, and I知 pretty desperate. I知 hoping for advice.

I知 a 40 year-old male, and about 3 years ago I developed a wart on the top of my hand. Since then, I致e gone from doctor to doctor in search of a cure, or even a way to manage this. I live in the Northern NJ area, right outside of NYC. I have a plethora of doctors to go to, and they致e all let me down. Now I am wondering IF this condition CAN BE cured, or well-managed, or if I知 doomed to go on and live with it. Please allow me to explain.

About 3 years ago I got an odd, deep purple spot on the top middle of my right hand. It enlarged to about the size of a dime. It didn稚 look rough or scaly like the photos of warts that I致e seen on the Internet. Clearly there was something going on with the texture of the skin in that area though, it appeared more smooth than the surrounding skin. It had a dark spot near the center, and I figured it was something like an ingrown hair. After a lot of home treatment, such as trying to dig something out with a sterilized needle, I went to a dermatologist. I知 not a hairy guy, and I知 relatively light-skinned. There was nothing to camouflage this dark purple spot and it was very obvious. You could literally see it in the dark.

The first dermatologist that I saw was in and out of the room she spent no more than two minutes with me. 展e don稚 do anything with ingrown hairs. If I cut it out, the scar will be worse than just leaving it alone. Stop touching and manipulating it. If you want it cut out, see a plastic surgeon. Visit was over, and she charged me $150.

I went to another dermatologist, he put me on a routine of steroid injections, into the lesion, every couple of weeks. After many months of treatment, I saw absolutely no improvement.

I went to a plastic surgeon to have an unrelated condition taken care of (I needed to have a small cyst removed). While I was there, I showed him my hand, and explained what the first doctor told me. He recommended we biopsy the lesion, and we did that. The biopsy was positive for HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), or a WART. This was news to me, but I left the office excited, finally learning why my treatments weren稚 working. He recommended something over-the-counter, like Compound W.

Compound W wasn稚 working (tried it for months), it made it look much worse. I took up with home freezing kits, Wartner, Dr. Scholls, and some other brands. After they weren稚 working either, I ended up abusing them (freezing longer, and much more frequently than directed) in a desperate attempt to try to cure this thing. It never happened.

Many months later, the lesion started to spontaneously improve. In a week or two, it was completely gone and there is no sign that anything was even there. This lesion, which was very obvious and embarrassing, lasted 2 whole years. Then I started to get a large lump in my eyebrow.

I went to yet another dermatologist, one who I hadn稚 seen before, and explained the situation. He verified the lump was a wart, but could only offer burning it off with acid (like a stronger version of Compound W). I asked about freezing, he wouldn稚 do that, claiming the location was too near my eye. I asked about my eyebrow wouldn稚 the acid burn the hair away? (Currently, the wart was covered by my eyebrow hair.) Answer was 土es. Clearly, I couldn't walk around with a huge gap in my black eyebrow so
I left that one alone, but soon started to develop another small spot on my right hand again, this time near the base of my thumb on the top of my hand. I also started to get what I first thought was a pimple, on the back of my right calf.

The ones on my hand and leg quickly enlarged to the size of a nickel. Again, dark purple. Saw yet ANOTHER dermatologist who started freezing them. After freezing, I'd leave them alone for a week, then I was to start applying Aldara Cream. If no improvement in a month, I'd have to make anopther appointment and repeat the process. After many freezing treatments (at least 5 on each) I noticed that the freezing was making things worse. The warts were enlarging, and 鍍aking over the previously healthy areas of skin that were being frozen by the treatments. The doctor saw this, stopped the freezing, and kept me on the Aldara cream only.

I went through more than 3 boxes of Aldara, religiously following my treatment regimen. I had such high hopes! But again, it did nothing. If anything, it made them look swollen and even worse. I kept getting asked 展hat痴 wrong with your hand?!?! I kept lying and saying it was a burn. I started wearing bandaids all the time since they looked REALLY strange, like something highly contagious, such as ringworm. Eventually I stopped the Aldara cream, and the swelling that the Aldara caused around the lesions subsided in time.

I needed to seek out another doctor because this latest one kept having me go back for followup visits, but was doing NOTHING but looking at them and charging me for office visits. I knew it was time to stop going when he was telling me that they were going away, and what I was seeing was darkened scar tissue. I explained that the FIRST wart that I had looked identical to these, and it spontaneously resolved. They are ALL purple like that and it was not scar tissue. I got the impression that he didn稚 know what else to do and he wasn稚 really understanding the condition no matter how well I explained it.

I went to a different dermatologist and I wrote him a letter before I went, explaining what I have been going through, going from doctor to doctor, detailing the steroid, freezing, and Aldara cream treatments, and not getting real help, etc. When I finally saw him I was thrilled that he read the letter and seemed completely understanding and compassionate. He said we would tackle this.

The first treatment was a steroid tape. This was to help clear up the 澱loodiness of the lesions because I was messing around with them too much. (Using a tweezer to remove the unhealthy skin in a vain attempt to help try to 途emove these, etc.). Next visit, weeks later, they looked better, but were still dark purple lesions. I had additional biopsies that day. On my next visit I learned both lesions were HPV positive (I already knew that) then he tells me he痴 prescribing Aldara cream. BACK TO SQUARE ONE, apparently he didn稚 REMEMBER what I wrote in my letter. (AAARGH!!) I told him that I致e already been there, done that, etc. I developed a new large wart on my scalp on the back of my head. I noticed a suspicious-looking very tiny dark purple speck, on the top of my left wrist, an area that was previously a tiny burn from cooking grease. I told the doctor that I was very concerned that the condition was spreading. He decided he wanted to try freezing the speck on my left wrist. I re-explained that I致e already had freezing done on the other ones, etc. After he spoke to me more, I thought that maybe he would be better at it than the previous doctor that was freezing them, so I let him do it. Needless to say, that little speck increased in size and covered the area that was frozen. The little speck quickly became a bit larger than the top of a pencil eraser, at least 4X the size that it originally was.

The latest cream I was given, Carac (fluorouracil 0.5%) is a chemotherapy treatment for people with skin cancers. The doctor said it is recently showing promising results in curing warts. A small 30 gram sized tube of the cream cost me $120. He strongly advised that I thoroughly wash my hands after applying it to the warts.

I used this cream for about 4 days, and the lesions started looking far worse. After researching the drug, I learned that that would happen, but what really scares me about this stuff is its 殿nti-DNA properties. It works by screwing up DNA to prevent normal cell division. This apparently works because cancerous cells stop dividing normally, but it affects healthy cells in the exact same way. The theory is the skin WILL die, then upon discontinuation of the drug, normal skin will regenerate. I am VERY concerned about the long-term risks of this. For example, if screwed-up cells with damaged DNA remain, could they develop into cancerous lesions sometime in the future? With how this drug is normally used, on cancerous lesions, this side effect can appear as just a reoccurrence of the cancer. I feel it痴 too early to know the long term effects of this drug on non-cancerous lesions.

I can go on and on, this is a long story, but I now have 11 lesions on my arms and upper part of my hand, 1 on the back of my head, 1 on the back of my calf, and not only have any of them been CURED, but the condition is NOT being managed medically, it痴 running awry.

Oh boy! I know you致e read enough, and I thank you. But I hope there is someone out there that can help me. I feel that I知 slowly becoming disfigured by this, I don稚 know how I 田aught it, and I don稚 know who else I could see about it. When you read about warts on the Internet, it seems that they are very easily curable, but after me and my insurance company paying over $15,000 in three years on too many expensive office visits, treatments, and medications, not a SINGLE ONE has been cured. Instead, the condition is getting worse and worse. I have become very paranoid because any minor skin damage, such as a cut, scrape or burn, can develop into a dark purple lesion that can remain for years. At other times, no skin damage is neccessary, they just appear.

Hopefully I知 not the only person that is going through this. Can anyone offer some insight or advice?

Thank you!


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Old 08-06-2005, 07:30 PM   #2
Joker Wallace
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Alberta,Canada
Posts: 11
Joker Wallace HB User
Re: Treatment resistant warts

Wow, sorry bud. I have had warts on and off for about 32 years, and I have never seen a purple one yet. I too have problems removing mine. Freezing,burning,etc. Sometimes it works, sometimes it don't. Compound W is like water to me. If you are getting that many of what your docs say are warts then you should think about taking iron pills. Did they suggest that ?
I seriously doubt that those are warts though.

Old 08-08-2005, 11:49 AM   #3
S. Thomas
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2
S. Thomas HB User
Re: Treatment resistant warts

Nope, iron pills were never mentioned, but I did take up with an immune system "turbo charging" vitamin regimen that I found on the web. Was supposed to help "cure" the condition. It involved taking mega-doses of Vitamins A and C for a short amount of time. Did nothing!

Well, they're definitely warts, that's what all the biopsies showed. Like I mentioned, they don't look like photos of warts that I've seen on the web. Just purple blotches. If you reflect them to the light, the skin is typically shinier in those areas. Sometimes slightly raised, the older ones tend to be less raised/flat. Sometimes slightly rough as well. Depends. What's THE WORST is that they linger so long, years, and meanwhile more can appear for any reason. For example, I have a new one that started out as just a mosquito bite. At this rate, that'll purple blotch will likely be there for 2 years or so.

Old 08-10-2005, 02:23 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 204
rubindj HB User
Re: Treatment resistant warts

The absolute best thing for warts is an oldie -- but it works. You'll need to get a script from your doctor for canthardin and a salycilic acid occulsive bandage.

Take the script to a compounding pharmacist, who will have to mix it, and then you apply it to the wart (just once) and put the bandage on. Reaply in a week if needed.

I have never seen a wart last more than two treatments worth -- and I've treated a LOT of warts.

One of our old GP's used to use this, and the manufactorer stopped making it about 20yrs ago, but you can still get it through a compounding pharmacy. I know at least a half dozen physicians who swear by it.

Old 08-11-2005, 06:09 PM   #5
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,129
dorri HB Userdorri HB Userdorri HB Userdorri HB Userdorri HB User
Re: Treatment resistant warts

Sorry, to hear you are going through so much. Reading your post, after all you've been through, you most certainly have a problem on your hands and a frustrating one at that. I have a couple of minature facial warts myself, so I've been searching the net for natural remedies. Have you tried any home remedies on your warts, eg..tea tree oil...garlic...lemon..salt...mashed banana paste etc......these are the ones that are mentioned, although I don't know what to try just yet. Good luck, I hope they can get to the bottom of your problem.

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