Treating verruca can be confusing: the condition itself is a warty growth that appears on the foot, caused by a virus.

Different strains of the virus can manifest in different ways. This means there is more than one type of treatment to consider if you want to get rid of your verrucas. In this article, we explain everything you need to know about treating verrucas. We look at the types of treatment which are available for verrucas, how effective they are and how much you can expect them to cost.

What is a verruca?

A verruca, as we mentioned above, is a wart-like growth caused by a virus. It can occur on the hands, feet and other parts of the body. Verrucas are contagious and can be painful, but they usually clear up without treatment after a few weeks or months.

Verrucas can appear anywhere on your body, but they’re most common around the toes or fingers. They’re also more likely to affect children than adults because they’re more easily passed between children at school or other social environments when playing together.

Who’s at risk from a verruca?

In general, most people are at risk of getting a verruca. Children and young adults may be more likely to get a verruca than older people.

Some people with diabetes or a weakened immune system may also be more prone to developing verrucas. These include:

  • People who have low blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemia) or high blood sugar levels (hyperglycaemia)
  • People who take medicines that suppress their immune system such as steroids, chemotherapy drugs or immunosuppressants
  • People who have had organ transplants or are having treatment for certain cancers

Can I prevent verrucas?

You can reduce your chances of developing verrucas by keeping your feet dry and clean and avoiding walking barefoot in public areas. If you do get a verruca, it’s important to visit your doctor as soon as possible to make sure that the area has been correctly diagnosed and treated.

You may also want to try some simple home remedies for preventing verrucas:

  • Clean between toes by soaking your foot in warm water for 10-15 minutes, then carefully trimming away any dead skin with either a nail trimmer or scissors (make sure not to cut live tissue). Then apply an antifungal cream or powder before putting on socks which should be changed daily. You should repeat this treatment twice daily until all signs of infection have gone away – usually within two weeks.
  • Try wearing protective footwear where possible – particularly when going outdoors where there is more chance of coming into contact with an infected area through contact with another person’s foot sweat; if this happens then wash immediately afterwards using soap flakes followed by thorough drying off before applying antiseptic spray around each toe entrance point so as not allow germs from other persons walking into your house via their shoes etc.

Can verrucas be treated naturally?

You may be able to treat your verruca using natural remedies. These include:

  • Covering it with a bandage. This will help the verruca dry out, and should eventually fall off by itself.
  • Applying a paste made of baking soda and water (or salt or turmeric), allowing it to dry, then removing it gently with cotton wool or gauze soaked in warm water. Make sure you don’t get any inside your shoes!
  • Applying a paste made of honey or lemon juice, allowing it to dry, then removing it gently with cotton wool or gauze soaked in warm water. Again, make sure you don’t get any inside your shoes!

Over-the-counter verruca solutions

You can purchase over-the-counter products at your local pharmacy, however, they won’t be as effective as prescription options.

Over-the-counter treatments work by killing the virus that causes verrucas and preventing further growth of this type of wart virus in your body. If you have a large area affected by verrucas, then they might not be strong enough to eliminate them all on their own. You should talk to your doctor about whether or not this is a good option for you before trying it out yourself.

``Many people prefer to use an over-the-counter verruca solution because it's cheaper and easier than seeing a doctor for treatment. However, these products may not offer the same results as prescriptions and could leave you with scars if you don't follow the instructions carefully.``

–  Alice Forward BSc (Hons), Clinical Director

Treating verrucas with medical procedures

The treatments which we use at Active Step for verrucas include cryotherapy, silver nitrate, salicylic acid & verruca needling. All three options have their pros and cons, so let’s take a look at each one in more detail.

Silver Nitrate Verruca Treatment

Salicylic acid (also called ‘sodium salicylate’) is a keratolytic drug that helps remove the outer layer of skin. This can make it an effective wart removal treatment for verrucas on your feet and hands. Salicylic acid is also a common ingredient in many over-the-counter wart removal products

Salicylic acid verruca treatment usually involves applying the product directly onto your verruca until it falls off (which can take up to a few days). The pros of using this method are:

  • It’s often a less painful way of removing warts than freezing them with liquid nitrogen or burning them off with heat;
  • If you apply salicylic acid directly to your verruca every day for several weeks, it’ll usually work.

Cryotherapy Verruca Treatment

Cryotherapy, also known as cryosurgery or cryoablation, is a procedure in which liquid nitrogen is applied to freeze the verruca to destroy it. But how exactly does cryotherapy work?

The liquid nitrogen is sprayed directly onto your verruca and the surrounding area of skin for about 10 seconds. The freezing can be more painful than other treatments and may cause blistering or peeling of the skin.

Protective gloves must be worn by the person performing the treatment at all times, in order to avoid contamination of other areas. The freezing process can also cause some discomfort if it’s done incorrectly or on a sensitive area of your body such as an eyelid – so make sure your practitioner knows exactly where you want your wart frozen!

Verruca Needling (Falknor’s Procedure)

Verruca needling involves a needle puncturing your skin, allowing immunity regulator rich fatty tissue to be exposed to the viral particles within the verruca. This means that your body’s natural immune system can destroy the virus and with it, your verruca.

Because your body’s immune response is systemic, only one verruca will need to be treated, even if you have multiple lesions and it’s very common to find that other verrucas spontaneously enter remission when one is treated.

Despite the sound of this procedure, it is relatively painless, with the needling process feeling more like a sharp scratch than a puncture.

Seek Specialist Verruca Treatment and Advice

If you have a verruca, the best person to speak to about treatment is an experienced podiatrist who is trained to treat verrucas and can offer advice on how to remove them. They can also use medical verruca removal methods safely and effectively, to treat the affected area as quickly as possible.

If you have a verruca, there’s likely to be a simple and effective treatment to suit your needs. Speak with one of our experienced podiatry specialists today to understand more about your options and get the treatment that will work best for you.

Give Your Feet an MOT

Our MSK Assessments offer in-depth analysis of your gait and mobility of the full lower body, giving you a foundation of knowledge to improve your running technique. Our expert podiatrist team will help you meet any mobility goals you have, as well as provide a wealth of resources to improve your foot health and comfort in every situation.

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