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Warts are common infections of the skin caused by a virus called human papilloma virus. The most common sites affected are hands, feet and genitals, but a wart can appear anywhere. People usually get warts treated because they’re unsightly and can spread. Occasionally, warts become painful or itchy. It is extremely important to have genital warts treated because they can lead to cancer. Common treatments include topical medication or destruction by cryotherapy (freezing), laser, or scraping and burning (ED&C). High Desert dermatologists believe the best treatment for warts combines in office destruction with at home medication.


Tinea infection, also called ringworm, is a common fungal infection of the skin, hair and nails. When the skin is affected, tinea is easy to treat with topical and systemic medications. When the hair or nails are infected, an oral medication taken for a few months will cure the infection.

Cold Sores

Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are caused by infection from the herpes simplex virus. The infection can appear anywhere on the skin and is common on the genitals. After the first outbreak, the virus goes into a dormant state under the skin. Clusters of sores or blisters may then appear later at various intervals, which may be painful. Oral medication taken at the first sign of an outbreak can prevent or reduce the duration of a herpes episode. People who have frequent outbreaks can take the medication regularly and prevent lesions from arising.


Herpes zoster, also called shingles, is another viral infection of the skin. Shingles is more commonly seen in older individuals. It appears as a trail of painful blisters on the skin on only one side of the body. The blisters are usually painful and sometimes the pain is present before the blisters appear. Pain can also linger after the blisters have healed, which takes about 2 weeks. The best treatment is an antiviral medication taken within 72 hours of onset. If you think you may have shingles, call your High Desert dermatologist immediately.

Please contact High Desert Dermatology if you have any questions or concerns about skin infections.

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