Cutting Off a Wart at Home? Think Twice!

By now, you might be aware that the small bumps like rough growth on your hand or feet is known as warts and caused by one of the strains of HPV (Human papillomavirus). Warts commonly grow on feet, hands, fingers, neck, and face. HPV is transmitted via skin-to-skin contact.

The scientist has discovered more than 100 types of HPV. Though just a few of them can cause warts, some types are known to trigger cervical cancer. In this article, we will focus on warts that grow on your fingers and see if the cutting off warts can be a good idea or not. [01]

Hands & Fingers Warts

As HPV transmits via the contact and usually, hands are the primary location where the infection began. Hands and feet are the most common sites for non-genital warts. [02] As per the size, shape and other associated things, warts on hands can be divided further as follows:

  • Common warts
  • Flat warts
  • Periungual & subungual warts
  • Palmar warts
  • Butchers’ warts

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Is it safe to cut off wart at home?

No matter how tempting it would be or how easy it seems to cut off the wart yourself, never practice it in the home as warts are likely to grow back in some time as well as you might end up digging deep, hurting yourself or possibly causing bacterial infection at the place of cut.

Cutting off warts at home is not an advisable treatment, instead, seek professional help. [/thrive_text_block]

Since decades people use several things like duct tape, banana peels, essential oils, and even super glue to remove warts, some choose the easiest short cut – “Cutting off warts”. But sometimes the easy way is not a possibly best way to treat common warts.

If you try to cut wart off with nail clippers, utility or kitchen knife, it may get removed temporary but in most cases, it will grow back within few weeks to months as you have not treated its underlying cause – HPV. Often, when people cut wart off, a small portion of wart remains within the skin as they don’t dig up deep. Even if they go deep, they hurt themselves.

Nail clippers, utility or kitchen knives found in the home are not sterilized and may cause the secondary infection at the site of cut which often leads to pus formation. Even though you cut off wart and secondary infection doesn’t occur, you may end up bleeding at the site of the wart or can result in scarring. [03]

On top of all these side effects caused by cutting the wart, you may end up in pain at the site of the wart. So, it is better not to cut wart home. Always consult a medical professional to remove your warts. They may freeze it, remove it surgically (in a sterile environment) or will provide you the topical applications to treat warts.

https://www.reddit.com/r/popping/comments/cbil5g/planter_wart_yanked_out_of_my_foot_one_of_the/
A Reddit user tried to pull off the plantar wart at home which leads to bleeding and severe pain. Image via : u/cas_999

Warts on Hands – How to prevent them?

Hands are most vulnerable to get warts as it constantly being exposed to the world through TOUCH. Constantly touching various surface and objects can lead to HPV infection.

HPV can live well outside the body especially in the moist and warm atmosphere. So, one can pick the infection from public places like common showers, gym, etc.

Though, getting exposed to the wart virus is not sufficient to grow warts on your skin. HPV needs to enter in broken skin to give you a bumpy, rough growth. So, if you have cut or a broken skin on hands which touches to the surface that carries HPV, you will likely get warts.

Here are a few tips that can help you to avoid warts:

  1. Never touch warts of other people unless and until it seems necessary.
  2. Always put a bandage over cuts or wounds on your hands.
  3. Practice better hand washing techniques to keep your hands clean.
  4. Do not bite your nails.
  5. Use footwear in public showers.
  6. In spite of care, if you get warts, see a doctor first before trying anything else.

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References:
[01] IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risk to Humans. Human Papillomaviruses. Lyon (FR): International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2007. (IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, No. 90.) 1, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK321770/
[02] Loo, S. K., & Tang, W. Y. (2009). Warts (non-genital). BMJ clinical evidence, 2009, 1710. from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2907820/
[03] InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. What are the treatment options for warts? 2014 Jul 30 [Updated 2017 May 4]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279585/

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