Warts aren’t fun. In fact, they can be plain annoying. They stick out and get in the way, they’re unsightly, and sometimes can be pretty hard to get rid of. Hiding them is an option, but that depends on their location. For example, plantar warts on the bottom of the foot are rarely seen by others. But what about when you’ve got a wart on your hand? Those are much harder to conceal, considering you use your hands every single day for almost everything you do. But don’t worry, there’s hope. When it comes to hand warts, there’s more than one way to get rid of them.
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What Are Hand Warts?
All warts in the human body are caused by HPV, or Human Papilloma Virus. This is different than a bacteria or fungus, and loves to hang out in moist, warm places like showers or locker rooms. Once it makes contact with your body, HPV gets in through tiny breaks in the skin and settles into your epithelial cells where it lies waiting to activate and produce a wart. There is no cure for HPV, although there are things you can do to kill the warts that it produces.
There is a name for certain types of warts sometimes. Warts on the bottom of your feet, for example, are known as plantar warts. Warts that appear on the hand are called Palmer warts.
Traits of palmer warts include the following:
- Location on your hand, palm, or fingers.
- Smooth, round, and raised.
- Appearing in either small groups or alone.
Children seem more susceptible than adults for palmer warts. One theory is because of their immature immune system, and that their bodies can’t fight off the HPV virus when it first gets into their body like an adult’s can. Another reason behind it is that children are more likely to have their hands in dirty places where HPV thrives.
HPV can be annoying and sometimes even confusing. How does it work? Where do I get it? For more details on what causes warts on hands, go here.
Best Products For Removing Warts On Your Hands
The world of wart removal products has grown drastically over the years. Not only do we have over the counter liquids, we have procedures you used to only find in the doctor’s office, available now in an at-home kit.
Over the counter
The most common type of over the counter wart killer is salicylic acid. Made from the bark of the willow tree, this liquid eats away at living tissue, just like the kind you find in a wart. It’s not an instant fix, as the acid eats tissue away a few small layers at a time. However, it’s effective and inexpensive.
Some examples of products you may find include:
Compound W Wart Remover Maximum Strength Fast Acting Gel: The benefit of this product is the thick gel that won’t run or drip like a liquid might, giving you more control over application.Information
Because the skin on your hands is more sensitive, especially on your palm, you can experience more pain and discomfort from a wart than you would on other areas of your body, like your arm. When attempting an at-home removal of a hand wart, take care to follow all instructions carefully, to prevent damage to the healthy skin around the wart.
- Dr. Scholls Clear Away Wart Remover: This salicylic acid remover comes with a handy applicator for precise treatment.
- Compound W One Step Wart Remover Strips: Killing your hand warts is a breeze with these salicylic acid-infused bandages. Just press the medicated bandage onto your wart and leave on all day, changing for a new one at night.
Another option you can find at the store is an at-home freezing kit. The canisters you’ll find in the kit have a propellant inside that comes out in an extremely cold temperature. So cold, in fact, that it destroys the wart tissue. They vary from an actual spray to a liquid-filled cotton swab, but each delivers the same method of treatment.
Some products you might see include:
- Compound W Freeze Off Wart Removal System,
- Dr. Scholls Freeze Away,
- Wartner Cryogenic Wart Remover System.
Sometimes you may want to skip a medicated option altogether and go for something all natural. Holistic options are out there for wart removal and are as readily available as anything over the counter.
Just a few examples of all natural solutions to wart removal include:
There are times when your hand warts persist, even through at-home treatment. Or maybe you just want to skip over the counter remedies and go straight to a doctor. Whichever way you do it, a physician is always a good option when it comes to killing warts.
But who do you see? Several different types of doctors can remove warts on your hand, including:
- Dermatologist: These are the skin experts of the medical world. After medical school, a Dermatologist must go through years of specialized training, learning everything about human skin and diseases that go along with it, including warts. They will have the most experience when it comes to wart removal.
- Family practice: These doctors work in generalized care. They see most ailments and treat general problems, sending you to a specialist when the need arises. Because warts are usually a simple fix, most family practice physicians are able to remove warts in their office. Most often, they use cryotherapy as their method of removal, although some might do procedures like electrocautery or surgical excision.
- Physician’s Assistant and Nurse Practitioner: Most specialties will have Physician’s Assistants and Nurse Practitioners available to see. Although not licensed medical doctors, both types of professionals have completed extra medical training and work under a doctor’s supervision. Cost-wise, they are less expensive than seeing a physician.
Some Advice When It Comes To Hand Warts
It can be easy to get warts on your hands. People touch hundreds of surfaces a day, usually without thinking about what might be on them. If you’ve got breaks in the skin, HPV can get in through it and easily cause a wart. Although regular warts aren’t extremely contagious with skin-on-skin contact like genital warts are, it can be possible to spread warts more easily when you’ve got them on your hands. If your wart makes contact with another body part that has a break in the skin, you might transmit it there.
It’s never a good idea to try and cut out a hand wart on your own. No matter how clean your tools are and how much you’ve researched, performing a cutting procedure is never safe to do on yourself. Physicians who regularly do surgical excision removal of hand warts have completed years of training, have the exact tools, and a sterile environment to do the procedure in. Trying it yourself can lead to scarring and infection, which can then lead to medical complications.
Sometimes, the virus gets in next to a fingernail and starts a wart that grows underneath the nail itself, called a periungual wart. This is more of a problem, since it’s hard to get underneath the nail for treatment. Leaving this type of wart alone can damage the nail bed and cause you pain, so seriously consider seeing a doctor if you’ve got a periungual wart.
But how can you stop yourself from getting warts on your hands?
Try to remember these points when it comes to hand warts:
- Washing: Keeping your hands clean by frequent washing is always a good idea. Not only does this help tremendously in avoiding the cold and flu, a good hand soap can kill HPV that might be lingering on your hands.
- Avoid areas that house HPV: The virus that causes warts loves to hang out in warm, wet places like a dirty shower. The more people that touch the area, the more likely HPV is to be lurking there. So when you’re somewhere like a locker room, water park, public pool, etc., make sure to watch what you touch.
So if you’ve got a wart on your hand, do some research, and come up with a game plan. With so many options to choose from when it comes to treatment, those warts don’t have to stick to your hands for long. Your warts can be dead warts in no time at all.