What is a wart?
The wart is a harmless skin growth. Generally, warts develop on hands and feet, but they can appear in any area of your body. Warts on hands are somewhat similar to cauliflowers in appearance. Approximately 50% disappear in two years without requiring any treatment. However, they are extremely contagious; thus, you should treat them immediately and avoid direct skin contact with another wart. They sometimes reappear on your skin.
Why do warts on hands appear?
The warts on hands are produced by papillomavirus (HPV). It generates the fast multiplication of skin cells, having as a result benign growths, which are rather embarrassing than serious affections, being highly contagious. There are over 70 subtypes of HPV producing warts on hands.
The various types of viruses tend to cause warts on different parts of the body. It is spread through the direct contact with the skin or by touching wet surfaces such as stone tiles in a pool or the infested floor in a dressing room.
After the initial contact, the HPV virus can remain latent in the skin and there are situations where there are no visible symptoms for a long period of time. This means that many people can be affected by HPV without even knowing. It may take several months to form warts.
Warts on hands usually appear when there is a wound on the skin and the moment coincides with the time of contracting HPV; or when the skin stays wet for a long period of time (as in the case of sweaty feet). The wound can be caused by a cut, scratch, biting nails and cuticles, a very dry skin or eczema.
Who is inclined to develop warts on hands?
Scientists have estimated that approximately 7.5% of men had warts in a moment of their existence and that one in four people had at least one wart during their lifetime. Warts on hands represent the most common disease of the skin after acne.
Although we are all exposed to the HPV virus, some people are more sensitive while others have a more powerful level of resistance to the virus. Warts on hands appear often in the case of those with a weakened immune system. Children and adolescents are more susceptible to contracting the virus, as their organism is not yet prepared to fight all the viruses. 53% of those affected by warts on hands are aged between 5 and 19. People taking steroid pills or suffering from severe diseases are also more likely to be affected by warts.
The perfect season for the appearance of warts on hands is summer, due to the prolonged contact with others during various enjoyable activities.
Do warts on hands reappear?
In most cases, the treatment applied on the surface of the skin is effective and warts on hands disappear forever. The body’s immune system can get rid of any remaining small piece of wart after the treatment is over.
Medical treatment for warts
If you are not sure that the growth on your skin is a wart or your home treatments failed, it is recommended to visit a doctor.
Cryotherapy or freezing the warts on hands involves the application of liquid nitrogen on your skin, at a temperature of minus 91 degrees Celsius. People often think that in this way the wart is frozen or burnt instantly. This is not true. The treatment slowly penetrates through the skin and it forms a blister which covers the wart. The dead tissue falls off within a week.
Surgical removal of warts on hands has a high success rate. The procedure generates discomfort and it takes several weeks for the affected area to heal completely. However, the risk associated with surgical removal of warts on hands is represented by a possible infection and the formation of a scar.
Electrocautery is the process of destroying skin tissue using electricity. This method is effective in most cases, but it definitely leaves scars.
Treatments you can use without a prescription
The drug stores offer us plenty of methods to get rid of warts on hands. There is a wide variety of creams, gels, lotions and patches available in pharmacies. Most of them have as main ingredient the salicylic acid. It works by destroying the thickened layer of skin forming the wart, which can then be removed by rubbing the area with a pumice stone or emery.
Other chemicals, such as formaldehyde or glutaraldehyde will have the same effects. For best results, the solution must be applied every day and once a week the dead skin should be rubbed with a pumice stone. This treatment can take weeks, even months.
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