Warts are small, round, hard bumps found on the skin that have a cauliflower like surface. They can be white, pink or brown in colour and may have black specks inside. They can mostly be found on hands, fingers, feet and can also grow on any part of the body.
Warts are caused by the human papiloma virus (HPV). These viruses exist naturally on human skin, so when a person's immune system is weak (e.g., from illness or medications) he or she is at a higher risk of contracting the virus. Common, plantar, or plane warts can be acquired through something as simple as a cut. Walking barefoot in public areas is also a high-risk activity for contracting warts.
Warts can be treated at home by following a few simple steps:
- Soak the wart in water for about 10 minutes until the skin is soft, pat dry.
- Apply petroleum jelly to the area around the wart to protect the area.
- Carefully apply salicylic acid to the wart being careful not to touch the uninfected areas. Your pharmacist can help you select the appropriate product. Let the area dry for 5 minutes.
- Cover the wart with a bandage.
- After 24 hours remove the bandage. The surface of the wart will have turned grey and you can remove the dead skin by filing it off with a pumice stone or emery board.
- Repeat this process daily until the wart is gone.
If the wart is still present after 8 weeks of home treatment, contact your doctor. They can prescribe stronger treatments to remove the wart, such as burning off the wart with electricity or using liquid nitrogen.
For more information on warts, please contact your Apple Drugs pharmacist.