If you have noticed sudden growth of little masses on your hands, fingers, palms and knuckle, then there is huge chance that you have Common Warts.
What are Common Warts?
These warts are small grain like skin growths, which occur mostly on your fingers, palms or hands. They are rough to touch, and often appear in a pattern of tiny black dots which are known as seeds, that are nothing but small, clotted blood vessels.
Common warts usually appear in solitary or in groups on hands, palms or fingers. Although they may grow on any part of the body, but usually grow in areas that comes in constant contact with other people, if you look at it, it may appear to be rough, grayish brown, dome-shaped growths.
How do hand warts look?
Depending on the area of infection warts can be of varying shapes and sizes. A wart can be a little bump with a rough surface on top, or it might as well be flat and smooth. Apart from the skin, warts commonly appear on fingers, palms, hands, toes and the bottom of the foot.
A common trait that has been observed with warts is the appearance of small blood vessels, which grow into the core of the wart. These blood vessels are responsible for supplying the wart with blood. In both common and plantar warts, these blood vessels may look like dark dots in the wart’s center.
As commonly explained by the doctors and patients alike, hand warts are usually painless. But in case a wart has grown in a spot where pressure builds up while you are doing your daily tasks it might become painful.
How do they happen?
If you have warts on hand or any type of skin wart, it means that you came in contact with a wart-causing virus sometime in the past, though it could have been months ago. Common warts are transmitted from a host to a receiver via a virus called HPV which spreads by touch.
The viruses cause more trouble in the areas which have cuts or lesions on the skin. Getting a small scrape or biting fingernails may bring on common warts too. Similarly, cuts acquired while shaving can provide a breeding ground for infection. This explains why men may have warts in the beard area, while women have them on legs.
Common warts are caused by an infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV). Till now scientists have found more than 100 different types of the virus, but only a few cause warts on your hands. People who have weakened immune system, like children, young adults and old people, are more likely to develop common warts. In cases of common warts it has been observed that, they disappear on their own after some time, but as people find it icky and bothersome, they like to remove it themselves.
Can’t we just simply scrape of the Skin on top of the warts?
Well looking at thing growing on your hand and fingers, might be bothersome and you would naturally want to get rid of it by picking on with your fingernails. But before you do that you should know that touching a wart, can worsen the conditions even further and there is high chance the infection might escalate to the nearby regions. Therefore if you are suffering from warts on hands and warts on fingers, it is highly recommended that you do not touch it or try to remove it by application of force or a metal object such as nail file, safety pins and needles.
Why do some people get more warts than others?
It’s not a hidden fact that almost everyone comes in contact with the viruses that causes warts, but doctors do not have a specific idea about, why do some people get common warts more than others.
Going by the explanation given by them, it’s believed that it has something to do with each individual’s immune system. If people are getting less occurrences of common warts then there is high chance of their immune system being strong.
Still, experts have yet to determine exactly what is different in the immune systems of people who get skin and hand warts frequently.
Is it possible to prevent Common Warts?
If you are suffering from common warts frequently, it is important that you shift your focus towards preventive measures and undergo a treatment for removal of warts as and when they appear. The best way, to prevent common warts is to avoid coming into contact with the person carrying the virus. You can take certain precautionary measures of your own, whereby you should
- Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly.
- Carry a hand sanitizer
- Air dry your hands after using public emergency facilities
- Clean up the equipment before using it, in gyms
- Be careful while coming in contact with an infected person
- If you have Cuticles get them treated as well
- Cut your nails properly
- Take bath on regular basis
- Eat Healthy Diet to keep your Immune System Strong
- If you have any cuts on your hand or fingers, you should treat it properly.
One other thing that you can do is to keep your hands moisturized to avoid any kind of cuts, which is the usual place for the virus to get under your skin. If you suffer from skin warts on your fingers you should wash your hands using warm water.
If you have warts on your hand you have not treated it properly then you can spread the virus to other places on your own body. You can also contract the HPV virus indirectly by touching something that another person’s wart touched, such as a towel or exercise equipment. The virus usually spreads through breaks in your skin, such as a hangnail or a scrape. Biting your nails also can cause warts to spread on your fingertips and around your nails. Each person’s immune system responds to the HPV virus differently, so not everyone who comes in contact with HPV develops warts.
When should you consult a doctor?
If you have contracted warts on your palms, hands or fingers then most likely it should go away on its own after a few days. But if in case it has starts to hurt and appears to change color then most probably it’s time get it checked with a dermatologist.
If you have tried to treat them yourself but have not succeeded, there is a high chance that these common warts can spread or reoccur in many cases. You should consult your physician immediately, in case of warts if you aren’t sure if a skin growth is a wart. If you are older than age 60 and have never had warts, then it time to see your doctor and get yourself tested for skin cancer just to be on the safer side. You should also see your physician if
- Non-prescription home treatment isn’t working after 2 to 3 months of use.
- Warts are growing or spreading rapidly despite treatment.
- Signs of bacterial infection keep exacerbating
- Increase in pain, swelling, redness, tenderness, or heat.
- Red streaks appearing on the infected area.
- Discharge of pus
- Occurrence of Fever
- If you have diabetes, then it’s more of a reason to see your physician to get yourself checked for peripheral arterial disease.
What are the various methods of testing and diagnosing Warts on the Hand?
In most cases, your doctor can diagnose a common wart on hand, but if you are not willing to go to a doctor you can examining the wart. You can try to scrape off the top layer of the wart in order to check for signs of dark dots which are clotted blood vessels and those are common with warts. If you decide to the doctor, they might just remove a small section of the wart in order to test it out. This procedure performed by the doctor is called a shave biopsy. According to the procedure the shavings taken by the doctor are sent to a laboratory for further analysis. The doctors perform this operation to rule out other types of skin growths.
Possible treatments and drugs recommended for common warts?
Usually common warts go away without any particular treatment, though it might take about a year or two. While healing, there are chance that, new warts may develop in the nearby regions. Some people may choose to go to a doctor to get their warts treated. They usually do that because they have given up on most of the home remedies they have tried.
So when you finally decide to go to a doctor, they may suggest one of the following approaches, based on the location of your warts, your symptoms and your preferences. These methods are sometimes used in combination with home treatments, such as salicylic acid.
1. Salicylic Acid
Salicylic-acid plasters, pads, gels and drops are available over the counter and they can treat warts of any shapes and sizes.
What these method of medication does is dissolve the keratin, which is a form of protein which makes up the majority of the wart which appears to be a dense layer of dead skin that sits on top of the wart.
If you are suffering from warts you need to frequently, apply this type of medication on a daily basis for about a period of several weeks, which may even extended over a period of months, in order to get rid of the entire infection. Wart medications that contain salicylic acid usually work by removing layers of wart a little bit at a time.
Some studies have shown that treating your warts with salicylic acid is more effective when combined with Cryotherapy.
Cryotherapy or Freezing therapy can be done at a doctor’s office. This procedure of treating common warts, involves applying liquid nitrogen to the area affected by warts. The Cryotherapy works by forming a blister under and around your wart, when this blister subsides, the dead tissues gradually falls of within a week or two. This main advantage of this procedure is, the blister that forms around the warts, may cause your immune system to produce antigens, which would fend off warts. This may also stimulate your immune system to fight viral warts and save you the cost of repeat treatment. There are certain side effects associated with Cryotherapy which includes pain, blistering and discolored skin in the treated area.
Aerosol sprays are also available over the counter for performing freezing treatment at home. These sprays are meant to take down the warts temperature, to as low as minus 70° F. The liquid nitrogen which is most commonly used by the dermatologists performs the same function and are capable of lowering the temperatures to as low as minus 320° F. But when compared with the liquid nitrogen treatment, over-the-counter variety of this medication is less effective.
3. Other Acids
If in case salicylic acid or Cryotherapy doesn’t work, your doctor may try bichloro-acetic or trichloro-acetic acid. As per the procedure, the doctor first removes the surface of the warts. Then after cleaning the area to prevent further spread, applies the acid of their choice on those warts using cotton swabs. If your doctor has prescribed this treatment, you might have to go for repeat sessions every week or two. There are certain side effects associated with the procedure which includes burning and stinging.
4. Laser treatment
Another method to treat common warts is by using Pulsed-dye laser treatment. As per the procedure the warts are cauterized in order to get rid of those tiny blood vessels. The infected tissues around the affected area eventually dies, and gradually the wart falls off. Any strong evidence supporting the effectiveness of this method is skimpy, and the possible side effects may include pain and scarring.
So basically here’s all that you need to know about warts on fingers and warts on your hands, if you cannot find anything that you are looking, for then it’s in your best interest to go see a doctor immediately for further consultation and treatment.