Warts are a common condition that create small, granular skin growths on the surface of the skin. These growths take quite a long time to develop and can take as long as six months to show up. Warts are typically harmless but they can cause discomfort depending on where they are located. Many warts go away on their own but in some cases, warts can be so stubborn or troublesome that a doctor can remove them.
Warts can appear anywhere on the skin but happen most commonly on the fingers and hands. Signs of warts include:
If warts keep reappearing or cause discomfort, reach out to a medical professional to discuss your options.
Common warts are caused by a virus known as the human papillomavirus, or HPV. This virus is very prevalent in the human population and comes in more than 150 varieties. The few that cause warts on the fingers or hands can be picked up through casual touching and through shared objects. A wart may not develop until months after contact, so it can be difficult to identify where a virus was contracted. Children and young adults or those with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of developing common warts.
The most common treatment for warts is applying salicylic acid, a peeling agent that sluices the wart from the skin. This can be found in OTC varieties and applied at home, but in some cases, patients may need a prescription-strength version. Other treatments include cryotherapy, which involves freezing the wart so that it falls off, and laser treatment which cauterizes the growth. In rare cases, minor surgery may be necessary.
All cases of warts are not the same, therefore we recommend seeing a specialist to help determine which treatment option is the best for you.