Common warts are rough growths of skin that resemble cauliflower. These growths may be tan, gray, yellow, or brown, and may have black spots in them. The warts are generally an irregular round shape and are hard and rough to the touch. Common warts are those that are found on the hands, feet, or fingers, and they are completely harmless.
Common warts are caused by a strand of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). While HPV is often associated with genital warts and uterine cancer, the strands that cause these illnesses are very different than the one that causes common warts.
Having a wart on finger is due to coming into contact with the virus that causes it. Warts are spread when a person comes into contact with an infected person and the virus is most often spread via cuts that allow the virus to enter the body. When the virus is introduced into the body it triggers the rapid growth of cells on the outer layer of the skin resulting in the appearance of the wart. Children are most susceptible to common warts due to the development of their immune systems, which is why it is so common to see a child with a wart on finger. Common warts can also be spread to other parts of the body if they become irritated or are broken or scratched open or through using an infected person’s personal items.
Common warts are not dangerous and they pose no health risks. The biggest issues with having warts on the hands or fingers is simply the way they look and because of the association with HPV. Most people feel as if they are stigmatized because of the warts on their fingers and may try to avoid contact until the warts are cleared up or go away on their own.
Even though common warts usually go away on their own, many people choose to treat them in order to avoid the embarrassment that is often associated when there are visible warts on fingers or hands. It is important to understand that the treatments used for treating common warts do not affect the actual virus. Instead the treatments are concentrated on removing the growth itself which means it is possible for warts to reappear at a later time because the virus is still active in the body. In many people however there may only be a single wart that is ever seen and the virus goes dormant in the body.
There are many different types of over the counter wart removers, but most of them work in the same way. Many of these treatments usually contain salicylic acid which dissolves the wart. There are also over the counter remedies that contain dimethyl ether which freezes the wart to make it fall off. Many people have also had success using at home remedies like apple cider vinegar or duct tape treatments for common wart removal.
If at home treatments do not work, or the warts are large a doctor should be considered. Doctors may use liquid nitrogen or cryotherapy to freeze the wart and destroy it. This method can be somewhat painful, but is usually an effective means of getting rid of wart on finger. After the freezing process the wart generally falls off within one to two weeks.
In some cases a doctor may recommend a minor surgery where the wart is burned off with electricity or completely cut off. Both of these methods of wart removal can be painful due to the anesthetic injection that is required and the scarring that results. These methods are generally only recommended if all other wart removal and treatment methods have been ineffective in getting rid of the warts.
Since wart removal does not address the HPV that causes them many people may have recurring growths of warts around the same areas. Still others never have a recurrence even though the virus is still present in the body.
Common warts like those that appear on the fingers are completely harmless even though they are contagious. These growths will eventually go away on their own but there are treatment options available so you do not have to deal with the embarrassment any longer than necessary.