A verruca is a wart on the foot. They are generally on the sole, but can be found elsewhere on the foot.

They are caused by HPV, or Human Papiloma Virus, and usually disappear of their own accord after two to three years, particularly with children. Verrucae are contagious and are generally caught from walking through communal changing areas.

For painful or stubbornly persistent verruca, there are a number of treatment options available

At Cockermouth Chiropody/Podiatry, we offer verruca needling performed under local anaesthetic. This is a procedure where the verruca is punctured several times with a small needle to cause bleeding and stimulate the body’s immune system to resolve the problem. As the procedure is performed under local anaesthetic it does not hurt and studies have found that patients experienced minimal post operative pain.

Verruca needling is an effective treatment, often working following the first treatment. Patients can remove the dressing the within three days and continue as normal. The success rate is 70%.

Acid therapy sees silver nitrate, salicylic acid or, as a last resort, monochloroacetic acid, applied to the verruca after the overlying callus is removed and checked and repeated as required. This can be a painful and lengthy process, depending on the depth of the lesion.

Suffocation sees us starve the verruca of oxygen and this can be a low cost treatment option using several methods – duct tape and nail varnish have been found to be effective if a little troublesome to apply!

One thing you should never do to verrucae is file them. Some over-the-counter treatments will tell you to do so, but we find this seems to spread them.