Got an ugly wart? No problem! All you need is a raw potato . . . or a copper penny . . . or a banana peel . . . or maybe you can simply wish it away!


There are so many myths about warts that it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. But the folk remedies people come up with can certainly be amusing…



What Science Tells Us about




More frequent in kids than in adults, common


warts (verruca vulgaris) are skin infections caused by one of a hundred different strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) family. They can be spread person-to-person or by contact with contaminated objects. Nail-biters and people with skin injuries (cuts, scratches, or minor infections) are at higher risk.


Warts can affect any area of the body, but tend to invade the fingers, hands, knees and elbows. They look like hard raised lumps with a rough surface – it may resemble the head of a cauliflower, with black dots inside.


They are usually painless unless they're on the soles of the feet (plantar warts) or a part of the body that gets bumped frequently.


Common warts are more of a nuisance than a serious health problem. Most people will have one at some point in their life. And often they are harmless and go away on their own.


In fact, about half of wart infections will resolve without treatment in a year, and two-thirds will be gone within two years. So if a wart appears, then one option is to wait-and-see if it simply vanishes one day.


But it’s ok to treat it too – they are socially unappealing, and sometimes cause discomfort.



So Do Any Treatments Actually Work?


A few years ago, duct tape was reported to work, but subsequent studies have shown that it probably does not.


Two treatments are available over-the-counter that have been clearly proven effective by scientific studies:


1. Salicylic acid preparations – producing a 73% cure rate in 6-12 weeks PROS: Affordable and effective.

CONS: Requires continuous application until a cure is achieved.


Note: If applied to surrounding healthy skin tissue, these products cause discomfort and irritation. Take care during application.



2. Cryotherapy (freezing) – a similar cure rate.


PROS: Fast, easy and effective. Most warts only require one application. CONS: Initial discomfort and higher expense.


Both of these treatment options are available from your local Direct Chemist Outlet. Ask for advice from you friendly team member for the right product for you.





























































Common Wart Myths


Myth #1 - Warts are caused by touching toads. FALSE.


This myth may have developed since some toad toxins can cause skin lesions that can look like warts, but toads do not cause warts. Ever.


Myth #2 - Warts can be eradicated by wishing them away – this theory is based on hypnosis or a power of suggestion. FALSE.



A Few Words of Advice


NEVER scratch, pick at or shave off a wart. HPV is highly infectious – it will easily spread to another part of the body.


Always seek specific medical advice if the wart is:


  • Painful, red, bleeding, swollen or excreting pus,


  • On an infant or toddler,


  • On the face, genitals or rectum, or


  • On anyone with a chronic medical condition, such as diabetes, circulatory issues or immunosuppression


And remember, although they can be a nuisance, common warts are common.



Despite research, there is no scientific evidence to support this. It’s quite likely, however, that sometimes a wart will vanish after the suggestion due to the natural course of the disease, not because of the suggestion.


Myth #3 - Rub your wart with banana peel to make it disappear. Some people swear by this, but again it’s false.


Myth #4 and more - Other superstitions include rubbing the wart with copper pennies, raw potatoes, a piece of meat (that subsequently needs to be buried in the ground two days after the full moon), and the list goes on…


No matter how nice it would be if such interesting treatments worked, warts can’t be wished away…and that’s the truth, warts and all.

DISCLAIMER: This material contains general information about medical conditions and treatments and is intended for educational purposes only. It does not constitute medical or professional advice, nor should it be used for the purposes of diagnosing or treating any illness. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your local pharmacist or health care provider to obtain professional advice relevant to your specific circumstances.