3 Ways To Keep Warts From Spreading on Your Hands

Witches Party! Postcard art collection

Warts aren’t just for witches. People of all ages and races get warts, those ugly, sometimes painful skin growths, most commonly found on hands, feet, and genitals. That’s because warts are caused by a virus, the human papillomavirus (HPV), that’s highly contagious and easily transmitted. You can get a wart by touching someone else’s warts, by touching contaminated surfaces such as soiled towels, or by picking at a wart, causing it to spread to other areas.

Here are three ways to keep warts from spreading on your hands:

1. Stop chewing your nails. Nail biting is the fastest way to spread warts. Nail biting causes tiny tears in the skin on your fingertips and on the nail beds which pokes a whole huge in your front line defense against HPV. The virus finds these tiny openings, takes root, and grows.

2. Stay moisturized: By keeping your skin moisturized, you create a powerful barrier against viruses. Remember that moisturized skin is healthy skin. When skin is dry and cracked, it’s vulnerable, making it easy for HPV to enter the skin and infect you.

3. Wash your hands regularly: Hand-washing is cheap, easy, and effective in the battle against spreading warts. Make sure to wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds and to dry them throughly with a clean towel, paper towel, or air dryer.

Photo credit, FCC, koiart71.

Over the Counter Wart Treatment Not as Cold as Mine

OK. There’s cold. Then there’s really cold. Growing up in Providence, RI, I can remember waiting for the school bus on frigid January mornings. Some days, it was zero degrees. I can tell you, when it’s zero degrees out, a 30 degree day feels balmy.

It’s the difference between cold and really cold that matters when it comes to treating warts.

A recent study in the Journal of American Association of Dermatology explored the difference between over the counter wart freezer and the one that we use in dermatology clinics. They found that the coldest the over the counter product could achieve was -4° F (-20º Celsius). Pretty cold.

But the liquid nitrogen used in dermatology clinic was colder than -148º F (-100º Celsius), the lowest the sensor could measure — much colder than the over the counter version!

I am sure your wart will be able to tell you the difference.