Although they are usually harmless, common warts can be unsightly and cause embarrassment, particularly for children or young adults. Warts are very prevalent – one in three children and one in ten adults suffer from common warts and verrucas. People with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to warts on hands and fingers than the general population.
Warts on hands and fingers are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), a highly contagious virus that can enter your body through cuts, scrapes or cracks in your skin. You can become infected with the virus through direct contact with somebody who has a wart, or just by touching an object that carries the virus. Once you have become infected with the virus it may lie dormant for two to six months, after this period it triggers cells to grow quickly on the outer layer of the skin, where it forms a wart. Due to the long incubation period it is very difficult to know when you were exposed to the virus.
The symptoms of common warts can usually be easily recognised. The warts appear as small raised growths of skin with a rough surface and a shape similar to that of a cauliflower. Warts are usually hard around the edges and softer in the middle, where small black dots may be visible. These are tiny capillaries that supply the wart with blood, and they are often a sign that the wart is about to disappear. Common warts tend to be skin-colored, but they can range from white to brown-grey. Common warts are usually round or oval and average 1-10 mm in diameter. Although they are often found on hands and fingers, common warts can also be found on other parts of the body, such as feet, knees, and elbows
Most warts will eventually disappear on their own, but this could take two years or more. Ignoring your warts is not recommended since they may spread to other parts of your body or other people while you are waiting for them to go away. New warts tend to be easier to remove than established ones, so the sooner you start treatment the better. Most warts can be treated with an effective over the counter treatment such as EndWarts PEN, a product that contains formic acid that is easy to use and only needs to be applied once a week. Formic acid dehydrates the wart from the inside and out, which helps your body to reject it.