Warts aren’t just on your hands – they can also be found on other parts of your body. Doctors say that one in four people in the UK will develop warts on the hands and fingers in their lifetime.
Anyone can get warts, but some people are more likely to get warts than others.
Although they can be painful, warts are not usually serious. There are many ways to get rid of warts, including antibiotics, topical creams or freezing your fingers or hands. But for many people, wart removals are ineffective, expensive and time consuming.
Although it can be painful, warts are not usually serious
Warts usually appear on fingers or the palms of your hands. If you have warts on your nails, they may also be painful or crack, as the nail bed becomes exposed. You can remove warts by using either cream or a freeze cream on the wart and surrounding skin. You can also pick off the wart with a scalpel, leaving a raised scar, but this will take longer to heal.
People who are infected with HPV, the virus that causes warts, may require a different treatment. For this, there are over-the-counter creams that have been shown to prevent the growth of HPV warts. However, warts caused by HPV are less common than those caused by the common sexually transmitted virus, chlamydia.
Doctors may prescribe medication or even an oral vaccine to prevent HPV warts, if it is recommended to do so by your doctor. Some people will need laser surgery, which is more invasive and involves freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen.
Get all the facts
– Read the information leaflet on the page of your pharmacy.
– Speak to your pharmacist or doctor about wart removals and the HPV vaccine.
– Speak to your doctor if you think you or a member of your family have warts or if you have any questions about warts.
– If you are not sure whether you have warts, please speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
– Picking or squeezing the wart will cause more wart to grow.
– Warts are common in many places on the body. The most common location for warts to appear is the hands and fingers.
– Your warts are usually harmless.
– To diagnose warts, make sure you’re not infected with HPV.
What are the signs and symptoms of warts?
– Red or white or sometimes brown or black, the wart is a flat, red or white raised bump on the skin.
– It can sometimes appear in clusters.
– Sometimes the wart can bleed.
– There may be a small blood blister under the wart.
– The wart is usually tender and can be very itchy.
– The wart may change shape over time.
How do you treat warts?
Warts can often be removed at home. There are several treatments available.
The most common is freezing. This is where a special liquid nitrogen spray is placed on the wart and frozen. If the wart is small, this may be enough to remove it. But some people need a procedure called microbially mediated epilation. This involves using special chemical creams to burn off the wart and surrounding skin. The person is then offered several days of cold compression. This increases blood flow to the area and speeds up the healing process.
Don’t pick or squeeze the wart.
– If a wart gets infected, doctors may prescribe an antibiotic cream or pain killer. You should not use a garlic cream on warts. Garlic is not an antibiotic, but many people believe it can help. If you are unsure, you should talk to your doctor.
– A warts vaccine may be available as part of the routine childhood vaccination programme.
How to make warts go away faster
– Cold compress on the wart.
– Apply ointment.
– Remove warts with tweezers or a small amount of liquid nitrogen.
– Freeze warts with liquid nitrogen.
– Reduce the size of warts using laser surgery.
– Aspirin ointment is sometimes recommended for preventing or treating warts.
– A wart remedy made from apple cider vinegar and honey is sometimes used.
– A wart can regrow if it is left untreated.
– Someone can also have a symptom of warts but have a wart on the palm of their hand instead.
– The best way to remove a wart is to freeze it. The wart should be removed within 3 to 6 months of the first removal.
– Waxing, where the wart is stripped off with a blade, is another option.
– Surgery to remove warts may also be an option, especially if they are large and caused by HPV.
Warts, can we get them in other places?
– Some people have warts on their faces and in the mouth, but this is not common.
– Warts may be found on other parts of the body, such as on arms, feet, back, buttocks, legs and eyelids.
– Warts are common in many places on the body, but they are more common on the hands and fingers.
What are the symptoms of warts?
– Warts are usually harmless, but some people may experience discomfort or may have a sore.
– They are painful and can be itchy.
– The wart is usually flat and can sometimes bleed.
How long does it take to get rid of warts?
– The person’s warts may go away naturally within 6 months.
– Treatment is more likely to get rid of warts that have spread.
– Treatment may take longer to get rid of warts that are hidden under the skin.
How long does it take to grow a warts on the palm of the hand?
– It takes around 12 weeks to grow a wart on the palm of the hand, so a wart that appears when you are 8 may have grown to 4 weeks by the time it is 8 years old.
– It takes around a month to grow a wart on the palm of the hand.
– In the first few days, you may experience small, red lumps on your finger or hand.
Is it a risk factor for developing HIV?
Yes. Other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may also be a risk factor for developing HIV, which is why prevention is so important. Some STIs may be more likely to cause inflammation in the genital area. This can promote the growth of the wart.
Possible reasons why warts occur
– In people with the HPV virus, the virus is associated with the development of warts.
– Warts are common in people with psoriasis. This is a skin condition that affects 1% of the UK population.
– Anyone with a weakened immune system should not pick or squeeze any warts.
A combination of salicylic acid, witch hazel and Vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide, and garlic extracts has been shown to kill skin-borne microbes that cause warts. A steroid cream used to treat blemishes is also beneficial in warts removal.
In some cases, only a topical application of salicylic acid can help clear up warts. Depending on the location of the wart, this treatment may be possible without having to get the warts removed surgically.
As mentioned earlier, salicylic acid may not be enough to get rid of the warts, as it only treats symptoms, rather than curing the problem. One way to get rid of warts is by having the wart surgically removed, along with a topical treatment.
Apply a salicylic acid cream directly to the wart. It is a mild over-the-counter treatment.
To avoid irritation of the wart skin, do not rub the wart skin. It may result in scarring. The application of salicylic acid should be done by an experienced healthcare professional. It is also a good idea to be diligent about cleaning your hands after you apply the salicylic acid to the wart.
Here are few home remedies to get rid of warts:
Forget about coffee and tea for a few days, because green tea can also help clear up warts. It contains anti-inflammatory properties.
Thyme leaves are excellent at clearing up warts. They contain certain antimicrobial compounds that have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.
Take a handful of thyme leaves and crush them. Add a few drops of water and boil for 10 minutes. You can add lemon juice to enhance the antibacterial and antifungal effects.
Dab the crushed thyme leaves onto the wart and let the wart dry. If there is a fever, the wart should clear up on its own after a few days.
Garlic is considered a strong repellent against bacteria, viruses, and molds. It is often used to remove warts and control skin infections.
In a blender, grate a small portion of garlic. Apply this paste to the wart and leave for 15 minutes. Rinse with plain water and allow the garlic to dry.
Use this on a daily basis until the wart clears up.
Aloe vera leaves have vitamin A and vitamin C, which help in warding off infections.
Take aloe vera leaves, mash them and apply this paste to the wart.
Apply this paste once a day until the wart clears up.
This is a mixture of red and black sesame seeds and tamarind. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Mix 1 tablespoon of togarashi and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and add a few drops of water. Soak cotton balls in this mixture and keep them on the wart for 10 minutes. Repeat this daily until the wart is cured.