You have been diagnosed as having a verruca on your foot or a wart on your hand. This can be treated in a number of ways. The mode of treatment used will be tailored to your personal circumstances. This will depend upon your age, the size and or number of verrcae, pre-existing medical conditions and level of physical activity.
During your consultation you will be advised of the range of treatment options open to you. You will be encouraged to make your own informed decision. A personal treatment plan will then be designed to suit you.
What is a Verruca?
A verruca is caused by a virus which belongs to a group of viruses called the human papilloma virus (HPV). There are several types of verrucae that affect the foot.
The virus enters the skin through a cut, blister or abrasion. Once inside it begins to multiply. They most typically appear on the sole of the foot and toes. Occasionally, however they can appear on the top of the foot or the hands, when we would refer to them as warts.
They appear as lumps of darkened skin with a rough surface. There may be dark spots on them. Some are covered in callus. They vary in size and shape and are usually painful, particularly when pinched.
All verrucae will have the callus removed from their surface with a scalpel, each time before additional treatment during which they will bleed, this is perfectly normal.
There are many creams and gels sold over the counter at pharmacies and at InStep Foot Clinic. This option is used to try and gently burn away the verruca. They can be useful in children who have a recent single verruca and no underlying health conditions. They contain very low concentrations of acid and are not strong enough for adults or longstanding & multiple verrucae.
Another treatment is the application of salicylic acid to the foot. This is available in different strengths. ‘Salactol’ contains a low concentration of salicylic acid and is applied to the verruca, allowed to dry and covered with a dressing.
Before 70% salicylic acid is applied to your foot a small ring pad is placed over the verruca to contain the acid to ensure that its effect is confined only to the required area. A dressing is then applied and left in place for up to 48hours. Please refer to Aftercare Advice.
Occasionally, we may recommend the use of monochloracetic acid on particularly stubborn or large verrucae. Before Monochloracetic acid and 70% salicylic acid are applied to your foot a small ring pad is placed over the verruca to contain the acid to ensure that its effect is confined only to the required area. A dressing is then applied. Please refer to Aftercare Advice.
This is a method of freezing using liquid nitrogen. It is a common procedure which lasts for about 60 seconds is not usually painful. A blister may form following treatment but this is normal. A dressing may then be applied. Please refer to Aftercare Advice.
A procedure that is carried out under a local anaesthetic. It is effective in removing persistent verrucae in adults. It is said to be 90% successful. The aim is to reintroduce verruca cells into the blood stream to facilitate an immune-generated response. This is done using a very fine needle. A dressing is then applied.
After any of the treatment options listed above, your verruca will probably be dressed. Please ensure you keep this dressing dry for up to 48 hours before removing it and following our continuing treatment advice. If your verruca becomes too painful to bear then remove the dressing immediately wash your foot with soap and water.
If you are concerned please contact InStep Foot Clinic and we will advise you further.
Please note that some verruca can be very stubborn and will take several treatments to resolve.