Case scenario

Alice, aged 9, comes into the pharmacy with her mother complaining of pain in the sole of her foot when she walks. On inspection, you note a round 1.5 cm lesion on the sole of her foot which appears to be a plantar wart. On questioning you discover that Alice has been having swimming lessons on a weekly basis for the last few months. How can you assist Alice?

Learning objectives

After successful completion of this CPD activity, pharmacists should be able to:

  • Recognise and identify warts, recommending treatment with over-the-counter products as appropriate.
  • Discuss the pharmacological and non-pharmacological management of warts.
  • Explain when referral is required.
  • Summarise the role of the pharmacist.

Competency standards addressed (2016): 1.1, 1.4, 1.5, 2.1, 2.3, 3.5

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Introduction

Warts are abnormal growths of the skin caused by infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV). Epidermal thickening and hyperkeratinisation may occur following infection, resulting in a visible wart, weeks or even months later.1 A wart is also called a verruca. HPV-associated warts consist of 1,2:

  • Cutaneous warts which include:

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