What is a wart?

Can warts be prevented?

How do I stop my child from catching warts?

What are the treatment methods?

They're often caught from swimming pools and other communal places and commonly found on children.

Thanks to the progression of science and medicine, the treatment for warts is as simple as visiting your local pharmacy for the treatment that suits you.


What is a wart?

Papillomas (also known as plantar warts) and common warts are caused by the human papilloma virus. The virus is infectious and transmitted to people via the skin if they come into contact with it. Warts are highly contagious and can spread via grazes, dry skin and cuts.

Common warts can occur anywhere on the body, but the highest incidence is on the hands and fingers. Plantar warts occur on the sole of the foot - typically on the heel, ball of foot or underside of the toes. They can be flattened by body weight and quite painful when walking.

How do people contract human papilloma virus?

Frequent use of swimming pools and communal changing areas by children and adults is the main reason for the high incidence of the human papilloma virus.

Are warts common in children?

Kilkenny, Merlin, Young and Marks conducted a research study for University of Melbourne on the prevalence of common skin conditions in Australian school students in 19981.

Findings from this study are listed below:

  • 22 per cent of school children had the human papilloma virus
  • 64 per cent of those with the human papilloma virus were aged 6-16 years old
  • 16 per cent of children had common warts
  • 6 per cent had papillomas
  • 40 per cent of children found to have warts during an examination indicated previously that they did not have any of these legions
  • Of those that had common warts and papillomas, 38 per cent had treated them

How can I treat a wart?

There are a number of different over the counter treatments, each with their own unique instructions. 

Scholl Freeze is a product which is not only easy but mess free and available at pharmacies. By pressing the button on the top of the can, the liquid mixture travels into the applicator bud and cools it to approximately - 50ºc. When the applicator bud is placed on the common wart or papilloma, the infected cells are rapidly frozen and then die.

After application, the wart or papilloma will usually fall off in 10-14 days and new skin will grow in its place. One single treatment is usually sufficient. More stubborn common warts or papillomas may require 2-3 additional applications.

Scholl advise:  Always read the label.  Use only as directed and if symptoms persist see your doctor or health care professional

1The prevalence of common skin conditions in Australian school students: 1. Common, plane and plantar viral warts. Kilkenny M, Merlin K, Young R, Marks R University of Melbourne, Department of Medicine (Dermatology), St Vincent's Hospital, Victoria, Australia, 1998.

This information was provided by Scholl.  For further information on Scholl's range of footcare products, go to