Home > Warts & Verrucas > Treating Finger Warts

Treating Finger Warts

By: Sarah Knowles BA, MA - Updated: 26 Aug 2011 | comments*Discuss
Warts Finger Disappear Hpv Virus Human

Earlier this year, an impatient security guard from Doncaster got completely fed up with having a persistent wart on his finger, which refused to budge despite numerous ointments and creams prescribed by his GP.

So Sean Murphy, 38, decided to try a unique remedy to make his wart disappear - and it worked. He shot off the wart with a 12-bore Berretta handgun, and sure enough, the wart never came back.

Unfortunately, neither did his middle finger, which was shot off so completely it was impossible to reattach.

Why Remove Warts?

Warts are almost always harmless, but nobody likes having them in places where they are easily visible to others – especially children (and, evidently, security guards). That’s why when kids have warts on their hands, especially their fingers, they almost always opt to have them removed.

The majority of both warts and verrucas will disappear on their own within a specific time frame, without any treatment whatsoever. But some warts take months to completely go away, which can leave a child open to ridicule and taunts from classmates.

Finger warts, if they grow big enough, can also be painful or itchy and sometimes can interfere with simple day-to-day tasks, such as tying shoelaces and writing – and they are contagious as well. Yet another reason to have them taken off.

What are Finger Warts?

Finger warts, like all warts, occur due to the human papilloma virus, also known as HPV. There are more than 60 known strains of HPV, and it can affect many parts of the human body apart from the fingers, such as the feet and even the genitals.

Finger warts form when the human papilloma virus infects the top layer of the skin, also known as the epidermis. If you manage to successfully damage the blood vessels that lie underneath and feed the wart, it will fall off – usually without any type of scar whatsoever. Alternatively, eventually your body will produce antibodies to the virus, and the wart will suddenly disappear on its own.

Of all the warts, finger warts that form on the fingers and around the fingernails are by far the most common. Most warts fall off easily with just a few treatments, prescribed by your GP. In rare cases, however, several different treatments will have to be prescribed before you find one that works.

Types of Treatments

There are several different types of treatment available to get rid of finger warts. The most common ones are:
  • Salicylic acid. On average, three out of every four finger warts can be cured by using this treatment, which can be bought over the counter, making your pharmacist your first port of call.
  • Cryosurgery. This method involves literally freezing the wart off, which can be mildly painful. The wart will begin to look red and blistered within a few hours and feel tingly, then eventually will fall off. While over-the-counter remedies are available, for children in particular this is best done by a professional. See your GP.
  • Duct Tape. Some people advocate the use of duct tape, which must be worn for about six days over the offending wart. The idea is that eventually your body will produce an immune response to this “foreign body” and make the wart go away. The verdict is out about whether this is a valid treatment or not, but it certainly isn’t harmful to try.
Be wary of online claims that a simple ointment or miracle potion can make a wart disappear. If you have a persistent wart, see your GP and get a treatment that really works, instead of wasting money on a bogus “cure”.

Keep in mind also that verrucas, or warts that appear on the feet, can be very painful to walk on. Although they also will disappear without treatment many people opt to have them removed by freezing.

See Your GP

Security Guard Murphy told The Daily Mail that he had suffered with his wart for more than five years, but it stubbornly refused to budge. Hopefully, if you have warts they will be less stubborn than his.

Warts are very contagious, as the human papilloma virus is passed easily from one person to another. Many children also fiddle with their finger warts, causing them to bleed and making them even more contagious to others. Painting the wart with clear nail varnish will make it less contagious until it disappears.

With the right treatment, however, a finger wart can go away quickly and painlessly. See your GP today and learn which treatment is best for you, or your child.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Victor Moodley
    Re: All About Lichen Planus
    I am 73 and diabetic.I was diagonized with lichen planus. It appeared on on forearms, neck and lower back. I have been given antibiotics…
    10 April 2018
  • Thabisile
    Re: Dealing With Hard Skin
    I have hard skin on my hand and legs i have try more hand lotion but not help, please help
    1 April 2018
  • OurEczemaStory
    Re: Do Washing Detergents Affect Eczema?
    We find washing detergents are a massive trigger in our house. If we use any different type we have bog flare-ups so we…
    23 March 2018
  • Mona
    Re: All About Shingles
    I developed shingles at age 45 about 11 years ago. I never saw much of a rash. Yet my case was the worse my doctor had ever seen. It was…
    12 March 2018
  • Ships
    Re: Preventing Fungal Skin Infections
    I am suffering from fungal infection, it has gone althrough my face, the redness, ictichiness. Please help....
    28 January 2018
  • Rahulchoudhary
    Re: Avoiding Chicken Pox Scars
    Hi i had chicken fox before 7months,now scars arenot prevent so there has any method to prevent its
    4 January 2018
  • LizzN
    Re: Recognising and Treating Boils
    @Akki - I would just let it take its own course. There is little you can do to prevent it from growing. But will subside again…
    20 November 2017
  • Akki
    Re: Recognising and Treating Boils
    It’s been two days there is a reddish pimple on my cheek and I know it is a boil...what can I do to prevent it from growing and…
    19 November 2017
  • EllieMN
    Re: Natural Remedies to Help Clear Eczema
    @maria - infections are categorised as bacterial, fungal, viral or parasitic infections. Tee-tree oil can be a good…
    9 November 2017
  • maria
    Re: Natural Remedies to Help Clear Eczema
    I developed eczema on my right breast and both of my hands. I was told it was ringworm on my breast and then it…
    7 November 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the SkinHelp website. Please read our Disclaimer.