Verruca treatment

Verrucae are caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). They usually present as a small hard local growth that develops on the soles of feet or hands. They usually have a rough surface bounded by a harder raised edge. They sometimes have black spots in them.

Verruca’s are not only unsightly but the virus can be spread around ones own body by autoinoculation or to others by the direct touching of infected areas or indirect contamination of warm damp areas such as showers and changing rooms.

Verruca’s can self heal but this can take several years and they remain infectious through out this period.

The treatment of warts seems to change with every generation, indeed Pliny the great Roman Historian suggested touching each wart with a podded pea then wrapping the peas in a cloth and throwing them over your shoulder. Although we cant guarantee our modern methods are 100% perfect, they are probably better than Pliniy’s method.

Cryotherapy – When cryotherapy is used to treat verruca’s and warts, liquid nitrogen or other cryo-liquid is applied to the target areas using spray or a cotton bud, This freezes the wart, killing the viruses host cells causing the wart to fall off within 5-8 days. This is the most common treatment for verruca’s and warts. However, in some cases, the patient may feel pain, therefore a local anaesthetic may be needed. The majority of verruca’s and warts will take 2-4 sessions of treatment to fully remove the wart, and the effected area will take 4-10 days to heal after each treatment.

Salicylic Acid – This method of verruca removal consists of the application of acid to the verruca in order to remove the outer layers of skin. This stimulates the body’s immune system and causes white blood cells to fight the HPV virus. This treatment is effective and it ensures that the verruca is treated at its root cause. However, the treatment must be repeated many times until the virus disappears. This treatment can be done at home. However, there is a risk of misapplication of acid which will cause damage to healthy skin cells. Salicylic acid id not recommended for use on children as it can cause irritation or blisters.

Surgery – The wart or verruca may also be removed using surgery. In this method, a foot health practitioner (FHP) will cut out the verruca or wart using a scalpel. This method may be more effective than cryotherapy as the wart is immediately removed, and the wart is unlikely to return.

At Altimus, our foot Health Practitioners (FHP’s) are able to administer the different treatments to remove verruca’s and warts as well as mitigate the danger of over the counter treatments. We have found that using different treatments concurrently provides the best treatment outcomes. Your practitioner will talk through the different options available to allow you to decide which method to use.


Your practitioner will ask about you medical history and underlying conditions and carry out a physical examination of the feet and lower limbs.


An appointment will be made to allow the treatment to start. This appointment should last between 30—45 minutes.


Ongoing treatments will be suggested if appropriate or you may be referred to a more specialist doctor.

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Your practitioner will analyse the Verruca and/or wart and discus the options available and on the best course of treatment.


The treatment plan will be implemented on the understanding that multiple sessions may needed to completely remove the infection.


Once the virus is removed, there will be a follow up appointment to ensure that the virus has not come back and to make sure that there are no complications.

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