A verruca can happen to absolutely anyone. It is a growth on the foot. This guide provides you with some essential facts and tips on how to remove verrucae permanently and without pain.
There’s a lot of misinformation around verrucae – and many people try home cures or so-called easy ‘fixes’ for the issue without first ascertaining if they really have a verruca or something else. There are a number of scientific treatments for it, and knowing the facts about it is important. The problem is that you can have a verruca without knowing it – or even live with it even if you do know it’s there (and they can last for many years)
While it’s true that some verrucae will disappear on their own accord, you should be aware of why the occur. A verruca is most often caused by a virus and will probably spread. The virus is quite infectious and you can spread it to others. It is always better to act right away when you notice a verruca on your foot.
What are they? Verrucae – or plantar warts – are simply small warts on the bottom of the foot that become pushed into the skin as you walk. Concentrated groups of verrucae are called mosaic warts (and are sometimes mistaken for callouses).
They are caused by a virus and are therefore contagious - but some people won’t develop a verruca even if they’re exposed to the virus. Up to 12% of people[i] will experience a verruca and children are more likely to get them – probably because of their use of school changing rooms, communal swimming pools, etc. An infection is also more likely when the feet are wet.
What are the symptoms?
Verrucae are small, bumpy growths on the soles of the feet. They can cause pain in specific points of the sole of the foot when standing or walking. Look out for a rough surface with a thickened skin surrounding it and tiny black dots, which are actually small burst blood vessels.
It can often feel like you have a stone in your shoe and they can be painful when you pinch them. They can be particularly painful if situated on a pressure point such as the ball or heel of the foot. If the area becomes red, hot, painful and tender after treatment, then you need to make sure you seek medical advice as there is a chance that the verruca has got infected.
How can verrucae be avoided?
Keep your feet clean and dry and change your socks every day. Don't touch someone else's verruca or share towels, flannels, shoes or socks with someone who has one. Don't scratch or pick your verruca as this could make it spread to other parts of your body.
Finally, avoid walking barefoot, particularly in public areas! Wear flip-flops, or rubber swimming shoes in communal showers, dance or exercise floors, and changing rooms.
How to treat a verruca?
Don’t worry, there are many different options when it comes to removing a verruca.
- Some people cover (occlude) the wart or verruca with duct tape and simply leave it but this approach isn’t always guaranteed to work and not recommended by physicians.[ii]
- There are many commercially available treatments containing salicylic acid in different strengths (10 - 60%) and formats (solution, cream, gel or plasters), all of which are available at chemists.
- For a less drastic but effective approach, try a freeze verruca and wart remover . This treatment incorporates the same system that is also used by doctors and works by rapidly freezing the verruca or wart and forming a blister after application.
The verruca or wart falls off naturally within 10 - 14 days and the body then replaces the wart tissue with normal tissue.
How to treat Warts with the a Freeze Verruca and Wart Remover:
- Attach an applicator bud to the white plastic cap, by firmly pushing it into the larger opening on the end
- Place the can upright on a covered table or other sturdy surface. Do not hold the can near your face, over parts of your body or clothing. Place the cap on the can as shown, so that the applicator bud sits in the clear plastic shield on the side of the can.
- Keeping the can upright, press the cap firmly down for 5 seconds. Do not hold the plastic shield.
- Remove the cap from the can, with the applicator bud still attached. Do not let any liquid come into contact with your skin and never let it anywhere near your eyes. You MUST wait for 15 seconds, holding the bud pointing downwards, before applying to the verruca or wart. This allows the liquid to collect at the bottom of the applicator bud, and reach the freezing temperature required for effective treatment.
- Ensure the verruca or wart to be treated is facing upwards. Keeping the applicator bud pointing straight down, lightly place the tip of the bud on the centre of the verruca or wart for a minimum of 30 seconds, but do not apply for longer than 40 seconds. Do not dab. Discard the applicator bud after a single use.
Be careful to remove all the dead skin carefully and throw it away as it could be a source of further infection!