Warts on the fingers are a common cause for concern for men and woman alike. This is not due to an underlying health risk, but to aesthetic concerns. Warts are unsightly and at times can even be painful, and worst of all they're contagious. This makes those found on the fingers especially troublesome. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to remove warts that develop on the fingers.
The most commonly used treatment for warts on the fingers is a medication known as salicylic acid, which works by destroying the infected skin and allowing it to be easily removed with the use of a pumice stone. It is available either over-the-counter or prescription, with the prescribed form being much stronger and typically used for larger or more stubborn warts. This method of treatment can take upwards of three months to effectively work. Another type of medication your doctor may utilize is developed from the blister beetle. Cantharidin is applied to the wart and covered, which causes a blister to form and thus allowing the visible part of the wart to be lifted off so it and the part under the skin can be easily removed. Both forms can potentially cause skin irritation, but are generally safe to use.
Other potential medications that may be used include immunotherapy, which includes topical medications such as imiquimod and work by helping the body's immune system fight off the virus that causes the wart; bleomycin, which is injected directly into the wart, is cited as being an infrequent for of treatment for warts by the Mayo Clinic; and topical retinoids, which is made from vitamin A and helps to prevent the skin cells of the wart from growing.
For stubborn warts that refuse to go away with medication or more conventional treatment, several types of surgical options are available. The most commonly used ones are freezing the wart off in a procedure known as cryotherapy, which typically uses liquid nitrogen to kill the wart, resulting in its easy removal. The alternative is burning it off, using either a super-heated needle or a laser, though according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology this possesses the potential to leave a scar. Finally, your doctor may simply surgically remove the wart with a scalpel.
The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD) notes that warts on the fingers and especially those around the fingernails can be troublesome. One alternative method of treatment that can be accomplished with no pain and from the comfort of your own home is the duct tape method. All this requires is for you to clean the wart and apply a small piece of duct tape to it, making sure to allow no room for breathing. The tape should be changed one or twice a week, giving it some time to be exposed to the air for about half a day per week. Before each tape change you should gently slough away the top layer of skin on the wart. This can be lengthy process, often taking several months to completely remove the wart, but its low cost and ease of use is a major factor in its use. According to the Mayo Clinic it is thought to be effective because the tape stimulates the body's immune system to work better at eradicating the virus, while the AOCD suggests it deprives the wart and thus the virus of oxygen and changes its temperature, resulting in its death.