ZocdocAnswersHow do I heal after wart removal?

Question

How do I heal after wart removal?

I had wart removal on my stomach about 6 months ago, using cryotherapy. The procedure went well, but the spots left behind where the warts were removed are now a little darker and very rough. What procedures are there for helping this skin return to normal? Can I use vitamin e?

Answer

The phenomenon that you are describing is most likely post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This is a variant of the skin's normal response to an injury (in your case, cryotherapy), in which a collection of melanocytes (darkly pigmented cells) collect at the site of injury. Many cases of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation will get better on their own without treatment, although this can often take many months. If the area on question is in a spot that is not a big deal, cosmetically, then a 'watch and wait' approach is probably appropriate. You can apply a good skin moisturizing cream, including those containing vitamin E, and just watch for improvement. However, if the area is bothersome to you or you are not willing to wait it out, there are some other treatment options available. One of these would be a bleaching/lightening cream, such as hydroquinone. This can be prescribed for you by your dermatologist. You should avoid home bleaching remedies as these can be damaging to the skin. Sometimes your dermatologist will also prescribe a steroid cream, which at times can help improve the rate of return to normal skin pigmentation. Rarely, if the area does not improve, more involved treatments might be recommended by your dermatologist, such as microabrasion or laser therapy. However, given the location of this spot, these are unlikely to be necessary in your case.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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