It's All About Verruca (Also Known As A Plantar Wart)

So, what are verrucae?

  • Verrucae are a viral skin infection.

  • The virus infects the outer layers of the skin.

  • Plantar Warts are caused by a strain of the Human Papilloma Virus.

  • They are non-hereditary, benign skin growth.

  • They are not considered to be highly contagious. It is unknown why some suffer more readily than others.

  • The virus causes an overgrowth of the outer skin cells creating a local thickening to the infected skin.

  • It can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between a corn and a verruca. Small visible black dots in the lesion are characteristic of a plantar wart and will not be seen if it is a corn.

  • Verruca can occur anywhere on the feet and vary in size from a few millimeters to more than 1 cm.

  • A tightly packed cluster of verrucae is called a Mosaic Verruca because they resemble a mosaic pattern.

  • Plantar warts may cause no symptoms, however, thickening of the skin on a weight-bearing area (like under the heel or the ball of the foot) may cause pain.

To Treat or Not to Treat... That is the Question.

You do not have to treat a verruca.

Warts are stubborn little creatures! They usually resolve on their own in around 1-2 years from when they first appeared.

Unfortunately, treatment of one plantar wart doesn't mean you will not get another.

What's are the Treatments?

  • Do nothing. According to the British Association of Dermatologists 65% of warts, including plantar warts, resolve alone.

  • Simple debridement of the overlying hard skin can improve comfort and make topical treatments more effective. Painless in the right hands, (that's a Podiatrist...obviously!))

  • Over-the-counter products - such as Bazooka. Based on removing the outer skin cells to trigger an immune response from the body and get rid of the verruca. (Always follow the manufacture's guidelines)

  • Cryotherapy - freezing of the infected skin cells with Liquid Nitrogen

  • Using Duct Tape or Zinc Oxide tape to occlude the verruca. This can be a good one to try on children.

And we could go on.....zinc supplements, banana skins, copper pennies (the older the better!), laser, Silver Nitrate, surgery, and complementary therapies, to name, well, quite a few!

Professional Treatments at Stepwise Podiatry

Verruca Needling - under local anaesthetic the verruca is pierced many times with an empty sterile needle, driving the infected skin cells into the deeper skin layers,

where our immune cells are located. Treatment is aimed at getting the body to mount an immune response against the virus.

Verrutop - A fairly recently developed mix of antiviral chemicals. Applied topically every 10-14 days for up to 6 treatments. Some stinging can be experienced on application. It can be a good choice for children with painful verruca.


There is no guarantee.

The best chance is in young people where the verruca hasn't been present for very long.

If you are immuno-compromised in any way then the plantar wart will be harder to clear.

What else?

  • Well fitting, cushioning shoes and/or cushioning insoles can improve comfort, especially if the verruca is on a weight-bearing area.

  • Wash feet daily and dry thoroughly

  • Avoid sharing towels, socks or shoes with others

  • Wash socks at the highest temperature you can, or soak in a disinfectant (like napisan) first.

  • Avoid going barefoot in public places. If you're a swimmer, consider protecting yourself by wearing rubber verruca socks.

Good Luck Superheros in fighting those pesky verrucas!

If you would like to know more about Verrutop please click here

To find out more about Verruca Needling, then please click here

If you have any questions or would like to work with us to improve your foot health, please get in touch.

Thank You for reading!

Fran & Helen x

Step Towards Better Foot Health & Step Into Our World

Stepwise Podiatry...How Can We Help?

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