Verruca Fact Sheet

foot verruca wart

What is a verruca and how is it caused?

Verrucae belong to the wart family and most commonly occur on the soles of feet,
around toes and toenails. These lesions are caused by Human papilloma virus, which is
highly contagious. This is the most common viral infection of the skin and can spread through direct contact with an infected person or surfaces that an infected person may have walked on. The virus is easily spread through damp surfaces in particular, such as swimming pools, changing rooms at gyms etc. The virus gains entry into the skin through
micro-openings in the skin. Small cuts, scratches, or open pores after skin has been soaking in water are all ports for the virus to gain entry. Although harmless, verrucae can often be painful when present on a weight bearing part of the foot. Verrucae can also spread to different parts of your feet and other parts of the body. There is often overlying callus on
verruca which can make them uncomfortable for the patient.

Treatments available


1. Monitoring: A small percentage of verruca can go away on their own, without needing any treatment. But if any of these are increasing in size or spreading, then treatment will be required.
2. Off the shelf products such as bazuka, occlusal (mild salicylic acid) etc can be used
to self-treat verrucae. It is always safe to read and follow instructions provided on
the box, but it is not always strong enough especially for long standing verrucae.
3. Professional treatments include – cryotherapy, a treatment that is used to freeze the lesion, strong salicylic acid treatment and treatments with chemicals. All of these can be administered by your Podiatrist and are likely require a series of treatments. It is NOT a “one session job” to get rid of verruca. Your practitioner would advise you on treatment regime.
4. Verruca needling is commonly used for treating stubborn or long standing verrucae.
The procedure is performed under Local anaesthetic (please refer to our leaflet: Pre
Verruca Needling: What you should know.)
5. Laser and surgical removal are also treatment options but are not currently available at Feet by Pody.

Our Advice

1. If you have verrucae, you should refrain from touching or picking them as this can
spread them. You should also keep your flip flops on in communal areas such as
gym changing rooms, showers or the spa. Walking barefoot on damp surfaces can
spread your verruca to others. Always put a towel on the floor when changing.
2. No practitioner can guarantee to get rid of your verruca. Because this is a viral
infection, all treatments are aimed at inducing your body’s immune response to fight the virus.
3. If you do not want to start any treatment, please check them regularly to ensure they are not getting bigger or spreading. Taking regular photos of the lesion can help monitor any changes in the size of the lesion.
4. Do not walk barefoot around the house if you have verrucae as this may spread the infection to other family members. Disinfect bath/ shower after use to protect others at home.
5. If you have any remaining questions please contact us at Feet By Pody.
Please call us today on 0207 099 6657, or book online.

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