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How do you get rid of hand warts

How to get rid of warts

Ugly and annoying, warts never seem to go away fast enough. Treating them may help speed their departure.

Warts are generally harmless and often disappear on their own over time, but they're unsightly, and some, like those found on the soles of the feet, can make walking and exercise painful. Wart removal can be a challenge, but fortunately, the most effective treatments are the least invasive.

Wart anatomy

Warts grow in the epidermis, the upper skin layer. A typical wart has a raised, rough surface. (Some, like those on the face, may be smooth and flat.) The center of a wart may be flecked with dark dots; these are capillaries that supply it with blood.

What are warts anyway?

Warts occur when skin cells grow faster than normal because they are infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV). Among the 150 strains of HPV, about 10 cause cutaneous (skin) warts, including common, plantar, and flat warts (see "Common types of skin warts," below). Certain other strains cause anal warts and genital warts. Some sexually transmitted types of HPV are implicated in cervical and other genital cancers, but the strains that cause skin warts have rarely been linked to cancer.

All of us come into contact with HPV repeatedly — when we shake hands or touch a doorknob, for example — but only some of us develop warts, and that's hard to explain. Children and people with immune system abnormalities are particularly vulnerable. For reasons that aren't entirely clear, so are people in certain occupations, such as meat, fish, and poultry handlers. But the most likely explanation is that some people are simply more prone to warts than others.

Skin warts aren't highly contagious. They can spread from person to person by direct contact, mainly through breaks in the skin. Theoretically, you can also pick up warts from surfaces such as locker room floors or showers, but there's no way to know how often this occurs. Warts on one part of the body can be spread to other areas, so it's important to wash your hands and anything that touches your warts, such as nail files or pumice stones.

A wart virus infection is different from a bacterial infection such as strep throat, which can be caught, treated, and eradicated because it progresses in a distinct, reliable pattern. The ways of warts are much less predictable. According to dermatologist Dr. Suzanne Olbricht, "The wart virus resides in the upper layer of the skin, and who knows where or when you picked it up? The virus could have been there for years. Then it makes a wart for reasons we don't understand. And when the wart goes away, you can still find the virus in the epidermis."

Common types of skin warts





Raised, rough surface, sometimes with dark specks; light-colored to gray-brown.

Found mostly on the hands, but may appear anywhere. Those under or around the fingernails and toenails can be hard to treat.


Rough, spongy surface kept flat by walking; gray or brown with dark specks.

Found only on the soles of the feet. Clustered plantar warts are called mosaic warts.


Flat or slightly raised; smooth and pink. Smaller than other warts.

Found mostly on the face, hands, and shins. They're less common than other warts, but when they do appear, it's often in large numbers.

Treating warts

Studies indicate that about half of warts go away on their own within a year, and two-thirds within two years, so "watchful waiting" is definitely an option for new warts. But some experts recommend immediate treatment to reduce the amount of virus shed into nearby tissue and possibly lower the risk of recurrence. If you prefer not to wait it out, you have several treatment options:

  1. Salicylic acid. This is the main ingredient in aspirin, and it should usually be your first choice. According to one study, salicylic acid is the only topical treatment (treatment applied directly to the skin) that clearly outperforms a placebo. (The study, in the August 2011 issue of the British Journal of Dermatology, combined and reanalyzed data from a number of previous studies.) Salicylic acid costs little, has minimal side effects, and comes in various over-the-counter preparations, including liquids, gels, and patches. Concentrations range from 17% to 40% (stronger concentrations should be used only for warts on thicker skin). To treat a wart, soak it for 10 to 15 minutes (you can do this in the shower or bath), file away the dead warty skin with an emery board or pumice stone, and apply the salicylic acid. Do this once or twice a day for 12 weeks. Warts in thick skin, like the bottom of the foot, may respond best to a patch that stays in place for several days. Continuing treatment for a week or two after the wart goes away may help prevent recurrence.
  2. Freezing. In this treatment, also called cryotherapy, a clinician swabs or sprays liquid nitrogen onto the wart and a small surrounding area. The extreme cold (which may be as low as –321 F) burns the skin, causing pain, redness, and usually a blister. Getting rid of the wart this way usually takes three or four treatments, one every two to three weeks; any more than that probably won't help. After the skin has healed, apply salicylic acid to encourage more skin to peel off. Some individual trials have found salicylic acid and cryotherapy to be equally effective, with cure rates of 50% to 70%, but there is some evidence that cryotherapy is particularly effective for hand warts.
  3. Duct tape.  Although findings have been mixed, anecdotal evidence suggests that this low-risk, low-tech approach may be worth a try. In one study comparing duct tape with cryotherapy, subjects wore duct tape patches over their warts for six days. Then they removed the patches, soaked and filed the warts, left them uncovered overnight, and reapplied the tape in the morning, leaving them in place for another six days. They followed this regimen for two months or until the wart disappeared. In this study, duct tape was about 45% more effective than cryotherapy. Two other studies found no benefit, but those studies used clear duct tape rather than the standard silver type, which is stickier and has a different kind of adhesive. Given this limited evidence, if you plan to try duct tape, it makes sense to use the silver kind. Why duct tape works isn't clear — it may deprive the wart of oxygen, or perhaps dead skin and viral particles are removed along with the tape. Some people apply salicylic acid before covering the wart with duct tape.
  4. Other agents. Warts that don't respond to standard therapies may be treated with prescription drugs. The topical immunotherapy drug imiquimod (Aldara), a standard therapy for genital warts, can also be used to treat skin warts. Imiquimod is thought to work by causing an allergic response and irritation at the site of the wart. In an approach called intralesional immunotherapy, the wart is injected with a skin-test antigen (such as for mumps or Candida) in people who have demonstrated an immune response to the antigen. Other agents that may be used to treat recalcitrant warts are the chemotherapy drugs fluorouracil (5-FU), applied as a cream, and bleomycin, which is injected into the wart. All these treatments have side effects, and the evidence for their effectiveness is limited.
  5. Zapping and cutting. The technical name for this treatment is electrodesiccation (or cautery) and curettage. Using local anesthesia, the clinician dries the wart with an electric needle and scrapes it away with a scoop-like instrument called a curette. This usually causes scarring (so does removing the wart with a scalpel, another option). It's usually reserved for warts that don't respond to other treatments and should generally be avoided on the soles of the feet.

When to see your clinician

Some skin cancers resemble warts at first. If you have a wart that doesn't change much in size, color, or shape, you probably don't need to see a clinician. But if you're in your 50s and develop new warts, consult a dermatologist. Be suspicious of any wart that bleeds or grows quickly.


5 Tips for Getting Rid of Warts

5 Tips for Getting Rid of Warts | Vanguard Dermatology

Having a wart can be cause for feeling embarrassed and self-conscious, especially as warts on the hand, an area of your body that is hard to cover up. The good news is that warts are easy to remove. Discover 5 tips on how to remove a wart, including home remedies, treatments from a doctor, and tips to prevent the spread of new warts.

What Is a Wart?

There are a few types of warts, which include the common wart, the plantar wart, and genital warts. The common wart is a benign (non cancerous), raised bump on your skin, often rough on the surface and flesh colored. They can also be dark or have a speckled appearance caused by small blood clots in the skin. The common wart is caused by a virus (human papillomavirus or HPV) and is spread by touch. You are more likely to get the virus if you have a cut on or damage to your skin, such as skin broken by a hangnail. Usually, common warts appear on your hands and fingers and are likely to be acquired if you bite your nails, which can damage the skin around your fingers. Children are more likely to get warts because their immune system is still developing. People with compromised immune systems, like those with HIV, also have a higher likelihood of contracting the HPV virus and getting warts.

Plantar warts are caused by the same virus as common warts, but usually grow on the bottom of your feet, especially on the weight-bearing parts of your feet, such as your heel. Plantar warts can grow in clusters and tend to be flat because the pressure on your feet causes the wart to grow inward. You will know they are there by the hard, thickened skin above the wart. They are also often painful or tender, especially when pressure is applied while walking or doing other activities while on your feet. The small black dots (often called “seeds”) that appear on the plantar wart are clots in small blood vessels. It is usually best to seek the help of a dermatologist in plantar wart treatment.

Genital warts are a common, sexually transmitted condition of the HPV virus. Like plantar warts, they can either grow alone or grow in a cluster, often looking like cauliflower. Often though, they are too small and flat to see. In both men and women, they can appear wherever sexual activity has taken place, such as the groin, the mouth, or the anus. In women, they appear on the vulva, vagina, cervix and groin, while in males, they are found on the groin, penis, scrotum and thigh. Genital warts often cause itching, tenderness, pain, or bleeding.

Home Treatments

Typically, if you have a strong immune system, your warts will go away on their own, but it can take a while, especially as warts can spread to other parts of your skin. It is always best to see a dermatologist to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan for your warts, but there are some things you can do to get rid of your common warts at home. These treatments are not recommended for genital warts, which should be attended to by a dermatologist.

  • Salicylic acid: you can get this over-the-counter treatment without a prescription. It will either be in a gel, as a liquid, or on a pad or patch. You will need to apply the acid once a day, and should do so after soaking your wart in warm water. You can get rid of the dead skin that develops on top of the wart by filing the skin with an emery board or pumice stone. Make sure to use disposable emery boards or pumice stones, as re-using them can cause the wart(s) to spread.
  • Wart freeze: you can freeze your wart with an over-the-counter product that uses liquid nitrogen as a gel or a spray.
  • Duct tape: you may be able to get rid of your wart by covering it with duct tape. The Mayo Clinic recommends covering the wart with silver duct tape for 6 days, soaking it in water and filing away the dead skin, leaving it exposed for 12 hours and then repeating the process until the wart is gone.
  • Prevent the spread of new warts: there are many things you can do to prevent getting warts and to prevent new warts from forming. These preventative measures include: cover your wart to keep the virus from spreading, don’t pick at your wart, keep your hands and feet clean and dry, don’t bite your nails, wash your hands regularly, wear shoes when in public showers or pools, and use protection during sexual activity.
  • See a doctor: there are a few reasons why you should see a doctor about your wart. If you are at all unsure as to whether the bump is a wart, see a dermatologist -- it could be a sign of skin cancer. You should also see a doctor if you have gential warts, if your wart bleeds or is particularly painful, if it is in a sensitive place like your face, if you have diabetes, or if you have a lot of warts. Plantar wart removal is best done by a doctor. Whatever type of wart you have, a dermatologist can treat the wart with a stronger acid than is available to you as an over the counter treatment. They can even perform minor surgery or use a laser to burn the wart off.

Contact Vanguard Dermatology Today

Contact Vanguard Dermatology in the greater New York City area. You can schedule a consultation with an experienced dermatologist to get your wart diagnosed and properly treated.

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why they appear and what to do with them

Warts on the hands are a benign viral disease in which single or multiple rounded protruding papules of various sizes appear on the skin - from 1 mm to 1. 5 cm (sometimes more), gray or flesh colors. In addition to the skin of the hands, warts can also appear on other parts of the body (face, anogenital region, soles of the feet, etc.), as well as on mucous membranes.

Formations tend to spread, merge into large conglomerates, grow rapidly, bleed when injured, relapse. Self-treatment by dubious methods leads to the appearance of scars, and malignant degeneration is not excluded on the mucous membranes. Therefore, the problem cannot be ignored.

Sometimes warts can disappear without treatment within 2 years. However, you should not be guided by this, since the pathogen still remains in the body and, against the background of weakened immunity, the formations will make themselves felt again. And also over time, they may become less sensitive to therapeutic effects. Therefore, it is important to remove them and, in some cases, undergo antiviral therapy, immunocorrection.

Why do warts appear?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) of various types causes formations (at the moment there are more than 100 varieties). Infection occurs by contact (from person to person) and contact-household (through objects of common use, infected surfaces - swimming pools, saunas, gyms) by. There are frequent cases of self-infection.

A virus that enters the body through microtrauma actively multiplies in the surface layers of the skin. The latent period lasts 1-6 months, then typical nodules appear.

In practice, we most often encounter flat and vulgar warts. Vulgar are predominantly located on the back surface of the hands. These are multiple painless dense rounded gray papules with an uneven, keratinized surface of flesh or yellow-brown color. Flat warts are located on the back of the hands, forearms, as well as the face and mucous membranes. Clinically, they are represented by small multiple papules of the color of normal skin. Black dots can be seen on the surface of both of them - these are thrombosed capillaries.

How to get rid of warts?

There are several methods of wart treatment: surgical removal, laser removal, cryosurgery, electrocoagulation, drug therapy. The most effective method - fast, painless and safe - is laser removal. The method is bloodless, sterile, non-contact, excludes the possibility of infection and any complications.

Sometimes, if necessary, the doctor may take part of the education for morphological examination.

The procedure is performed under local anesthesia and takes just a few minutes. Removal of the formation is carried out in layers - a precisely directed laser beam acts on the affected skin cells, evaporating them within visually healthy tissues. Immediately after treatment, a skin defect remains, which is completely tightened from 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the size of the removed formation. Healing occurs by secondary intention - with the formation of a crust and subsequent neat scarring. Wounds after removal of formations up to 2 mm can heal without a trace.

HappyDerm Medical Center performs laser removal of various skin formations, including warts. Previously, at a consultation with a doctor, a diagnosis of education is carried out, using modern equipment, if necessary, and treatment tactics are selected.

Laser removal is effective for all types of viral neoplasms and is possible in any area of ​​their localization. This approach prevents self-infection, vascular coagulation excludes hematogenous migration of the virus and further spread throughout the body.

Warts are not the best decoration for hands. Especially in the conditions of modern life, when external beauty and aesthetics become a necessary attribute of creating a positive image. In addition, warts are easily transmitted from person to person, which means that an HPV carrier is a danger not only to their own health, but also to those around them. You can get rid of the annoying problem. And laser treatment often allows you to do this in just one procedure. A doctor at the HappyDerm Medical Center will give detailed recommendations on how to prevent the further appearance of warts, strengthen the body's defenses and forget about an unpleasant problem.

causes, treatment and prevention


How to recognize a wart



Methods for removing warts on the hands


Growths can form on different areas of the body or mucous membranes; their type and size depend on the location of the warts. Visually, they look like flat, rounded lesions with pronounced hyperkeratosis and well-formed edges. One of the most common locations for warts are the hands. Warts on the hands grow inward, so they rise slightly above the skin.

In addition to being unaesthetic, they can cause some discomfort in everyday life. Warts are a consequence of infectious processes in the body and a serious reason to think about your health.

How to recognize a wart

When growths appear on the body, the following signs may indicate that these are warts, and not any other neoplasms:

  • If the infection spreads to adjacent tissues, "nests" may form where secondary warts accumulate.
  • When damaged, they have a cellular structure that is filled with vessels.
  • Formations increase in size at a slow rate.
  • They do not itch or become inflamed and do not cause discomfort if placed in places that are not subject to friction.
  • The warts themselves are nodular, up to 0. 8 cm in diameter, and often accumulate in groups. On their surface there is a visible manifestation of cracks and layers. The color of the papule can be from pinkish to dark brown.


The appearance of a skin defect, as already mentioned, is associated with the ingestion of the papillomavirus into the body. Infection can occur at any age, but children are most susceptible to infection. The disease begins to manifest itself under the influence of provoking factors and, as a result, single or multiple growths appear on the hands. If in babies HPV can be transmitted from the mother during childbirth, then adults can become infected with it in such cases:

  • direct contact with a carrier of the virus - handshake, touch;
  • use of shared items - towels, fitness equipment, handrails, etc.;
  • unprotected sex;
  • use of non-sterile manicure instruments.

The source of infection can be both a sick person and a carrier without any pronounced symptoms. To enter the body on the human body, it is enough to have a small injury - abrasions, scratches, cuts.

The body has a certain predisposition to the formation of papillomas - the latent period of their formation can last from 2 weeks to 6 months. The impact of negative factors, a decrease in immunity against the background of diseases activate the virus. As a result, it begins to manifest itself on the skin in the form of warts. The provoking factors doctors include:

  • taking hormones;
  • long-term use of antibiotics;
  • excessive physical activity;
  • stress, emotional strain;
  • deficiency of vitamins in the body;
  • pregnancy;
  • menopause;
  • genetic diseases.

When the disease is activated, the warts begin to manifest themselves more actively and grow rapidly due to the accelerated growth of the upper layers. If one wart appears, new growths may immediately appear, so treatment should be started without delay so as not to aggravate the situation. With a concentration of warts, it is on the palms that constant friction and pressure occurs, which can lead to malignancy - the degeneration of the neoplasm into a malignant one.


If the wart begins to bleed, grow or get sick, you should not self-medicate, as this can provoke the spread of infection to uninfected areas. In this case, you need to contact a dermatologist. He will prescribe all the necessary examinations and give recommendations on how to get rid of warts on the hands with a low recurrence rate. A comprehensive examination includes examination with a dermatoscope, testing to determine the papillomavirus strain and its activity. Based on the research received, a treatment method will be selected.

Modern medicine gives an unequivocal answer about warts - they need to be removed. What type of destruction of benign neoplasms will be used, the doctor decides. They are carried out in combination with the intake of antiviral and restorative drugs. It is impossible to completely destroy the virus, it remains in the body for life.

Methods for removing warts on the hands

  • Electrocoagulation. High-temperature current acts on the wart, eliminating the formation even in advanced cases. For this, local anesthesia is used. The coagulator gently and directionally cuts the wart with the help of current. At the same time, it eliminates the risk of bleeding at the site of removal. After exposure to current, a thin crust appears, which disappears after about 7 days. In rare cases, light-colored scars may appear after electrocoagulation.
  • Cryotherapy. Low temperature exposure to nitrogen using an applicator. It is applied to the wart for 10-30 seconds. At the site of exposure, hyperemia and swelling are observed. The epidermal bladder, which contains the serous filling, breaks through in 5-7 days, and a crust appears in its place. A little later, a pink spot forms there. This procedure is recommended to be repeated up to 5 times with an interval of 3-5 days.
  • Surgical removal. This method of excision of neoplasms is suitable when warts occupy a large area on the body. The operation is performed under a local anesthetic, stitches are placed inside, which are removed on the 7th day. With this method of removing papillomas, there is a risk that they will appear again after a while.
  • Laser treatment. It is considered the most effective and safest method. The removal of growths occurs in layers under local anesthesia. The procedure takes no more than 1-2 minutes. A small depression remains in the area of ​​laser exposure, which levels out after 2 weeks. The laser is suitable for removing any warts, it does not give complications, does not leave scars and hyperpigmentation. The technique is bloodless and absolutely sterile.
  • Treatment of warts with folk remedies is unacceptable. It is quite difficult to independently determine the type of neoplasm, and improper treatment at home can only aggravate the situation. Often, self-medication can lead to the formation of scars and long-term non-healing burns at the site of wart localization. Only a doctor after examination will be able to prescribe the correct and effective treatment tactics.


Warts do not provoke the development of other diseases, but they can affect large areas of the skin and cause psychological discomfort. In order to prevent their occurrence, it is recommended to lead a healthy lifestyle, avoid stressful situations, maintain immunity and prevent strong physical overstrain. Be sure to wash your hands with soap after visiting public places. Also, doctors recommend to be more in the fresh air and play sports.

Warts are benign growths that do not pose a serious danger. They are very easy to confuse with other diseases, so it is very important not to self-medicate and, at the first sign, sign up for a consultation with a specialist. The doctor will find out why there are warts on the arm, diagnose and prescribe competent therapy, aimed not only at getting rid of the skin defect, but also at strengthening general immunity.

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