“How to get rid of warts on hands?” is easily the most common question amongst people infected by human papillomavirus (HPV).
Hands are the most exposed and most used part of the body. The skin on them often succumbs to environmental threats, viruses, bacteria and fungi.
Viral infections that cause the growth of warts are most rapidly transmitted in humid, warm places, such as swimming pools, saunas, locker rooms, public bathrooms, and showers. Looking at this list, there is no surprise why our hands, and even feet, are first to get infected by HPV.
Fortunately, the dilemma “How to get rid of warts on fingers and hands?” has been resolved. This article will introduce you to different medically approved treatments and folk remedies known for their ability to restore the health of the skin.
Table of Contents
- 1 What causes warts on hands?
- 2 Types of hand warts
- 3 Why is it important to treat warts on hands?
- 4 Safety comes first
- 5 How to remove warts on hands and how to get rid of warts on fingers?
- 6 Warts on hands pictures
- 7 Conclusion
What causes warts on hands?
Warts on hands have been recognized as benign (non-cancerous) outgrowths caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). Scientists have monitored more than 100 different types of HPV, of which, types: 1-5, 49, 57, 19-24, 26 -29, 1, 12, 10, 14, 15, 17, 19 cause hand and plantar warts.
Such vast spectrum of different HPV strains may seem scary and concerning, but the severity of every HPV infection still depends on one’s immunity. A strong and healthy body is more likely to stop the proliferation and progression of the infection.
The main reason why warts on children and adults become visible to the eye is because of the weak body defense.
Most common factors responsible for ineffective defense mechanisms are prolonged stress, bad food, hormonal disorders, fatigue and living in polluted environments
Warts on hands are caused by a viral infection that occurs when HPV agents enter the bloodstream through little openings, cuts, scratches, and cracks in the top layer of the skin known as the epidermis. DNA of the virus causes abnormal cell proliferation accompanied by the increased blood flow. Both circumstances promote the growth of skin cells, which we see as protruding, flat and even concaved outgrowths on the skin. The growth of warts can be immediate, appearing within 1 to 2 weeks, or delayed for several months.
Types of hand warts
Because there are more than 100 different strains of HPV, it is self-explanatory that the world recognizes different types of warts as well. They are usually ranked in groups according to their size, shape, color, a location of growth and other features.
Even if warts on fingers and hands have specific appearance they can still be quite difficult to diagnose. Warts on hands pictures available on the internet surely can give you an idea of what a particular wart type should look like, but for reliable diagnosis always seek medical attention!
Here are two types of warts that most commonly appear on hands and fingers:
- Common warts, also known as vulgar warts, usually appear on palms, fingers, and back of the hands. Their name is very accurate because common warts cover up to 70% of all cases of infection. These common outgrowths can be recognized by their dense and rounded nodules, measuring 0.3 to 1 cm in diameter. They can have the same color as the surrounding skin or have pinker, brownish and yellowish shade to them. Their texture can be described as rough to the touch. Infection with common wart HPV usually manifests itself in multiple outgrowths, usually with one main wart surrounded by a number of smaller warts.
- Flat warts, also known as plane warts, statistically appear only in 4% of cases of infections. They not only affect the skin of the hands and fingers but mucous membranes of the face as well. Flat warts, as their name already tells, have smooth, flat top. They are painless, small growths on the skin measuring 1-2 mm. They can be recognized by their skin-tone, brownish, yellowish, or pinkish color. They may not be as perturbing as some other types of warts, but they are still noticeable because they usually grow in clusters, up to 100 warts in one group.
Why is it important to treat warts on hands?
Warts are extremely contagious, and even if they are not painful or dangerous they still must be treated in time. Here are some reasons that will encourage you to find appropriate wart removal treatment:
- You can spread the infection to other healthy parts of your body.
- You can spread the infection to other people.
- Accidental injury, abrasion or tear of the outgrowth located on your hand can lead to secondary infections, the spread of HPV and other complications.
- Although the warts are not recognized to be oncogenic (tending to cause tumors), the risk of malignancy of such growth is always possible.
It is important to mention that medically approved treatments and folk remedies don’t guarantee full recovery. Viral infections can be persistent and stubborn. If the body’s immune response is not any different after the removal of warts than it was at the beginning of infection, there is a high chance that wart outbreaks will reoccur on the same spot or another area of the body.
Safety comes first
You should see a doctor when/if:
- your warts on hands are painful and change color,
- you notice pus infection or bleeding,
- you are a diabetic or immune deficiency patient affected by warts,
- you are not 100% sure that the outgrowths on your hands are warts,
- multiple small warts appear around the main, mother wart,
- wart on your hand or finger is getting in your way and is constantly exposed to abrasion, friction, and risk of strain.
Know that the following wart removal options are general in nature and are not recommendation or substitute for the treatment provided by you medical specialist. If you are having any doubts or concerns about the listed wart removal methods seek advice from your medical specialist.
How to remove warts on hands and how to get rid of warts on fingers?
With modern technology at our disposal and “old but gold” folk remedies, people can now remove warts on fingers and hands in many different ways.
Here are some of the most popular medically acclaimed treatments as well as few natural wart removal methods:
NOTE: Before applying any homemade remedy to a wart, it is recommended to steam it for 5 to 10 minutes and pat it dry beforehand.
Laser therapy is an effective, modern method of getting rid of the papillomavirus infection on hands and fingers. This procedure is fast and requires local anesthesia. The laser treatment can cause small depressions in the skin; however, those are not permanent. They usually smooth away within a couple of weeks and the chances of scarring are very low.
Medicine practices different laser removal methods and your doctor may put your trough CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser treatment, YAG (yttrium aluminum garnet laser) or PDL (pulsed dye laser) laser treatment known for its painless and “scar-less” attributes.
Cryotherapy procedure destroys the epithelial cells of warts on hands and fingers with the help of cryogenic nitrogen being at very low temperature. These low conditions not only remove warts but also activate local immunity, for better and faster recovery.
With that being said, low temperatures can cause redness or subdermal blisters around the papilloma and may leave your skin sore for 1 to 2 days after the procedure. Fortunately, a doctor can cut water blister away or leave it as it is and let it burst on its own.
Cryotherapy may cause a little bit of pain and the skin surrounding the wart may scar if affected by low temperatures. If you are interested in this wart removal method you should know that the therapy usually requires 1 to 5 procedures.
Electrocoagulation is a process of removing warts on fingers and palms with a high-frequency current. This wart removal method is used for the removal of small outgrowths without deep roots.
This procedure may be bloodless but is still rather painful and executed under local anesthesia. Your doctor may also pair this removal method with curettage, which is a process of cutting warts off the skin with a spoon-shaped tool. In such case, the specialist will probably send the piece of your cut skin under histological examination for further analysis, while the scab formed on your hand after the therapy will disappear within a week.
If your wart outbreaks on hands are not as severe, your doctor may simply advise you to apply salicylic acid to the affected area on regular basis, until warts disappear.
The salicylic acid treatment usually last 1 to 3 weeks and shows best results when a wart is soaked in warm water prior to each application. It is best for you to apply the salicylic acid on affected areas with a cotton swab. Most importantly, avoid contact with the healthy skin surrounding the wart. You can protect it with a little bit of cream.
Celandine juice carries antibacterial and antifungal attributes strong enough to suppress papillomavirus infection.
If you want to get rid of warts on your hand with this method it is best if you use fresh juice of the celandine plant, flowering from May to June. When you break a stem of the plant, a yellow substance should come out. Protect the surrounding skin with cream and apply the fresh celandine juice on your outgrowths. Be careful, the plant itself is highly poisonous!
For this method, you will need an organic onion and 70% vinegar essence. Clean the onion, cut it in slices and soak them in vinegar essence for 2 hours. Secure the slice of a union to the affected area with a bandage or first aid tape. Leave it on overnight and remove it in the morning. Repeat the process until the warts are gone.
A 2002 study published in Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine tested the effectiveness of duck tape treatment and compared it to the cryotherapy. The results showed that duck tape was more effective at removing warts with 85% success rate while cryotherapy had 60% success rate.
You can treat your common warts on hands with silver duck tape as well. Simply cut a piece of tape and apply it to the affected area. Replace it with a new piece every few days. You may soak your wart in water and buff it with a pumice stone before covering it with a fresh piece of tape.
Warts on hands pictures
The treatment of warts and HPV infection requires patience and persistence. The key to success lies in the effectiveness of chosen removal method as well as the timing. Eradication of warts at an early stage will help you prevent new infections and other skin complications. Needless to say, the removal of one wart is much easier and cheaper than the removal of a dozen of them.