Warts are small protrusions that appear on the skin. Round and rough at the top they can occur singly or in clusters, and on occasion can bleed and be slightly painful.

They are caused by the Human Papiloma Virus and spread via contact of broken skin to an ‘active’ wart. Broken skin can be anything from an open cut or wound, to the scratched skin of eczema lesions.

Apart from being a nuisance, warts generally don’t require treatment. While they look nasty, and are caused by a virus that sounds even nastier, they tend to resolve spontaneously without being touched. However this spontaneous resolution can take up to 12 months to occur

Treatment involves, to one degree or another, burning the wart away. A variety of products are available, from paints and pastes to the newly released ‘ice therapy’ which mimics what your local GP would do in the surgery. The latter is a quicker treatment option usually requiring only 1 to 3 applications, but it can be more painful. The paints and pastes on the other hand are a tiresome procedure, requiring daily application for a number of months. They work by burning away the surface layers of the skin, and at best can reduce the duration of a wart by a few months. These aren’t ideal for very young children either.

Keep the area covered and this can prevent the wart spreading to other areas of the body and to other individuals. Also try soaking the area in some warm water each day and gently using a pumice stone to wear away at the top layers. It’s the simplest and best thing you can do to aid healing time. Apply the wart paint or solutions as necessary and be patient!