Dealing With That Wart On The Finger

A wart on the finger can often be a real nuisance, depending on just where on the finger it is located. Left alone, a wart is a rather benign thing. It does not cause pain, it usually grows to a certain size and then stops, and it eventually goes away. Warts often seem to appear suddenly, hang around for several years, and then disappear as suddenly as they first appeared.

A wart is caused by a virus, and usually appears where there has been a break in the skin, normally a rather small break, but large enough for a virus, the human papillomavirus (HPV), to enter. Once under the skin, the HPV virus causes keratin, a type of protein, to be produced at an abnormal rate. The result is a skin growth that is characterized by a rough or somewhat grainy surface.

Types Of Warts - The most common type of wart, and the type almost always found on the fingers is fittingly called the Common wart. Another type of wart is the plantar wart. Plantar warts can cause a great deal of discomfort since they generally grow on the soles of the feet, and are consequently subjected to nearly constant pressure. Plane warts are quite smooth warts, whose colors range from skin color to brown to yellow. These warts most commonly affect young children, and are rarely seen on adults. When they do appear, it's usually on the hands, the face, or the legs. Filiform warts are rather long warts. They extend out from the surface of the skin, and are commonly found under the armpits or on the neck, and in some cases on the eyelids. None of these warts are dangerous, and either can be left untreated, or can be removed for cosmetic reasons, or if they've become a nuisance.

Warts Are Contagious - Having said all of that, we've established that the wart on your finger is a common wart. It may be pink or tan, or even white, but most of the time it will be flesh-colored. It may have appeared as the result of a small open wound on the finger, or since warts are contagious, you may have come into contact with someone who has warts, or come into contact with something they've touched. That doesn't mean you need to avoid everyone who has warts, but very often when we get a wart, we get it from someone else. It's our immune system that has a lot to say as to whether the virus that’s been transmitted from one person to the next will gain a foothold on a finger, or anywhere else on the body.

In fact, if you have any warts at all, they will sometimes spread to other parts of your body. This is most often the case with children and young adults, or those who have weakened immune systems. Those who have had an organ transplant also seem to be somewhat more susceptible to a spreading of warts.

Wart Removal - If you want that wart on the finger removed, or simply have some questions about it, the person to see would be a dermatologist, although your family doctor may be in a position to give you some good information or advice. For wart removal however, it's usually best to have it done by a dermatologist. The dermatologist may ask you why you want the wart removed, even though the answer may seem to be obvious. You will likely also be asked how long the wart has been there, and whether or not you've previously tried to remove it, either with a commercial wart remover, or by using a home remedy. The dermatologist will examine the wart to ensure it is a wart, and not some other type of skin growth. That can usually easily be determined by visual examination.

Some warts can be particularly stubborn. Either the wart won't go away, or if you succeed in having it removed, it may return, or a replacement may take its place. Even a dermatologist may need to try more than one method before finding the one that successfully gets rid of the wart.

The wart on the finger may be frozen with a shot of liquid nitrogen. Liquid nitrogen is a common tool used by dermatologists to rid the body of all sorts of skin disorders, from warts to cysts to precancerous growths. Freezing a wart causes only mild discomfort, about the same level of discomfort as being vaccinated. The procedure may have to be done several times if the wart proves to be a particularly stubborn one. Surgery is another option, but since removing the wart surgically can leave a scar, a dermatologist will probably first attempt to freeze it off, a method which does not leave a scar.

Some home remedies work as well. Anything that contains a solution of salicylic acid will often do the trick, and there are those who swear by the use of duct tape. The only real disadvantage of home remedies is they often take weeks to do the job, and you will need to stick with the program.

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