How Do You Get Rid of a Wart on Your Finger?

Reviewed on 10/4/2022
Warts on a person's fingertips
Wart removal can involve medical treatments and home remedies such as over-the-counter (OTC) salicylic acid products, cryotherapy, topical immunotherapy, electrosurgery and curettage, excision, laser treatment, chemical peels, and others.

A wart is a harmless skin growth that can develop on any part of the body, and commonly appears on the fingers. 

The types of warts most commonly found on the fingers and hands include: 

Most warts are benign and do not need to be treated. Some warts go away on their own in months or years. 

10 wart removal treatments

Home remedies to get rid of warts on your finger include: 

  • Salicylic acid gels, ointments, or pads available over-the-counter (OTC)
    • Usually a first-line treatment
    • Salicylic acid treatments may need to be continued for two to three months
  • Cryotherapy 
    • Freezes the wart
    • Some products are available over-the-counter (OTC) and some are prescription
  • Duct tape over the wart
    • The tape may need to be used for one to two months
    • Use as directed by your doctor
  • Take over-the-counter (OTC) pain medicine 

If home remedies do not get rid of the wart on your finger and it is causing symptoms, medical treatment includes: 

  • Topical immunotherapy
  • Chemotherapy drugs 
  • Electrosurgery and curettage
  • Excision
  • Laser treatment
  • Chemical peels

What Are Symptoms of a Wart on Your Finger?

A wart on your finger may not cause any symptoms. When symptoms occur, they may include: 

  • Local pain or irritation
  • May be flat or have a raised surface 
  • Thickened skin
    • Small, rough growth
    • Can look like a callus
  • Tiny black dots on the surface of the wart
  • Can be light-colored to gray-brown or pink

What Causes a Wart on Your Finger?

Warts on your finger and elsewhere on the body are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).

There are many different types of HPVs, but only about 10 types cause warts on the skin. 

The virus can enter the skin through small cuts or scrapes on the skin after direct contact with recently shed viruses from an infected person. The virus is not highly contagious, but it can be kept alive in warm, moist environments, by direct contact with an infected person such as shaking hands, or by touching surfaces like a doorknob that was touched by an infected person. 

Those at higher risk for developing warts include: 

  • Children 
  • People with compromised immune systems 
  • People in certain occupations, such as meat, fish, and poultry handlers

How Is a Wart on Your Finger Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of a wart on your finger is made with a physical examination. If the diagnosis is uncertain, tests may include: 

  • Skin scrapings: The top layer of the wart is scraped off and examined for other signs (dark pinpoint dots, which may indicate clotted blood vessels).
  • Skin biopsy: A small area of the skin where the wart appears is shaved off and sent to a lab for further analysis.

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Reviewed on 10/4/2022
References
REFERENCES:

Image source: iStock Images

https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/aftercareinformation/pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=uf8629

https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/warts-overview

https://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm

https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/how-to-get-rid-of-warts

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-warts/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20371131