By: Joe Swails

What are warts?
Warts are small rough lumps on the skin which usually appear on the hands and feet. They can, however, occur anywhere on the body (warts which develop on the feet are called verrucas).

Warts aren’t serious, but as small skin-coloured growths on the skin they can be unsightly and even uncomfortable or sore.

About 1 in 10 people in the UK have warts at any one time. Although they are relatively harmless, they are contagious and are passed on from close skin-to-skin contact. This can occur as a result of things like shared washing and shower areas.

Typical symptoms of warts are:

The appearance of small nodules on the skin which are firm and raised with a slightly rough outer surface (common warts)

Darker coloured warts on the soles of the feet and also on the heels and toes (verrucas). Unlike common warts, verrucas do not appear on the actual surface of the skin, but inside the skin instead, due to your body weight pushing them down as your walk.

Warts are caused by a virus called the human papilloma virus which causes a reaction to the skin. You are more at risk of developing warts if your skin is damaged, macerated or wet.

You can ‘catch’ the warts virus if you regularly use swimming pools, gyms and communal washing areas. You are also more likely to get warts if your immune system is weak.

Warts are quite easy to identify both as common warts and verrucas. Your GP will examine your affected area and ask you some questions, such as if your family or your partner (if applicable) has warts.

Effect on your life
Warts do not necessarily impact upon your daily life in a negative way, but you may find yourself feeling rather self-conscious because of them. Many people feel embarrassed about their warts because they can be regarded as unsightly. However, it is important to remember that people do not develop warts as a result of having poor hygiene.

Verrucas can be very painful due to your body weight pushing down on them when you walk or generally put pressure at all on the soles of your feet. They can stop you from doing activities like sports or going to your local swimming baths. Also, if you share a shower or bath facility at your home, then you will have to consider others and cover your feet as you bathe, as verrucas are contagious.

Most warts and verrucas can be treated by over-the-counter remedies. If these prove unsuccessful, your GP may remove your warts by referring you for surgery, laser therapy or by freezing them off.

To lessen the chance of getting warts, try to avoid sharing things like other people’s shoes and socks (as they may have a verruca), and also do not share flannels, towels or personal possessions of someone who has warts.

How Chemist Online can help
We have available to buy through this website Scholl Freeze Verruca & Wart Remover which is a fast and effective treatment, and Wartner Wart Remover which can be used to freeze warts to the core and cause them to fall off in 10 to 14 days.


This information and advice is not intended to replace the advice of your GP or chemist. Chemist Online is also not responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based upon the content of the Chemist Online website. Chemist Online is also not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised on any of the sites.

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