Your Local Pharmacist is

Jay Koovarjee

 92 Pitt St
Sydney NSW 2000
ph: (02) 9221 0091
fax: (02) 8880-8326

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:: In Brief


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:: Warts

Everyday Ailments - Warts
  Everyday Ailments

Warts are a skin growth that is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). There are more than 100 kinds of HPV, some of which tend to cause warts on the skin. HPV stimulates quick growth of cells on the skin's outer layer. In most cases, warts appear on the fingers, near the fingernails, or on the hands. Certain types of HPV can also cause warts to appear in the genital area.

As warts are a rivrus they are contagious and can be spread to other parts of your body by touching. 

Types of Warts:

There are four main types of warts:

  • Common warts usually look like a tiny greyish cauliflower. They are mostly found on hands, fingers and feet
  • Flat warts are the same colour as your skin and look like an extra bit of thick, smooth skin sticking up, like a disc or a small patch. They are usually found on the backs of hands and sometimes faces of little children and young people
  • Plantar warts are warts on the bottom of your feet. They grow inwards because you stand on them all the time
  • Genetial warts can appear in the pubic area, on the genitals, in the anus, and/or in the vagina. They look like small flesh-colored, pink or red growths in or around the sex organs.


  • Leave them alone - most warts will disappear in time as your body produces antibodies. It may take a couple of years, but often it is worth just waiting for them to disappear naturally
  • Apply wart ointments - such as salicylic acid, formalin or topical retinoids. Some topical agents can be harmful to healthy skin tissue.  It may take three months or more for the treatment to get rid of the warts
  • Cryotherapy - the warts are frozen with liquid nitrogen. It may take up to four months of regular cryotherapy to get rid of the warts. The area treated may sting a little for 10 minutes, and a blister usually forms and drops off within a week. This method requires a few treatments
  • Laser therapy - laser is used to burn off the warts. Scarring may occur in some cases
  • Electrosurgery - if the wart infection is extensive, it may be necessary to pare back the growths and cauterise their ‘roots’. In some cases, the warts return after a few months. Scarring is a possible side effect of electrosurgery

More Information:


Ask Your Pharmacist about:

  • about suitable ointments 


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