Warts and Verruca

Verruca patient information

WHAT ARE VERRUCA AND WARTS?

Warts and verrucae are small lumps that often develop on the skin of the hands and feet and can resemble cabbages.

Warts and verruca vary in appearance and may develop singly or in clusters. Some are more likely to affect particular areas of the body. For example, verrucae are warts that usually develop on the soles of the feet.

Warts are non-cancerous, but can resemble certain cancers.

Most people will have warts at some point in their life. They tend to affect children and teenagers more than adults.

What causes warts?

Warts are caused by an infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV).

The virus causes an excess amount of keratin, a hard protein, to develop in the top skin layer (epidermis). The extra keratin produces the rough, hard texture of a warts and verruca

Are warts and verruca contagious?

Warts and verruca are not considered very contagious, but they can be caught by close skin-to-skin contact. The infection can also be transmitted indirectly from contaminated objects or surfaces, such as the area surrounding a swimming pool.

You are more likely to get a warts and verruca if your skin is wet or damaged. After you become infected, it can take weeks or even months for a wart or verruca to appear.

When to see your Podiatrist

Most types of warts are easy to identify because they have a distinctive appearance. You should always see your Podiatrist if you have a growth on your skin you are unable to identify or are worried about.

Your Podiatrist will be able to tell if it's a wart simply by looking at it. Where it is on your body and how it affects surrounding skin will also be taken into consideration.

You should visit your GP if you have a wart that:

bleeds

changes in appearance

spreads

causes you significant pain, distress or embarrassment

Treating warts

Most warts are harmless and clear up without treatment.

The length of time it takes a wart to disappear will vary from person to person. It may take up to two years for the viral infection to leave your system and for the wart to disappear.

You might decide to treat your wart if it is painful, or in an area that is causing discomfort or embarrassment.

In cryotherapy, liquid nitrogen is applied to your wart for a few seconds to freeze and destroy the affected skin cells. After treatment, a sore blister will form, followed by a scab, which will fall off 7-10 days later.

A session of cryotherapy usually takes 5-15 minutes and can be painful. Large verruca usually need to be frozen a few times before they clear up. You will probably need to wait a few weeks between each treatment.

There are two different cryotherapy methods. Liquid nitrogen may be sprayed directly onto the verruca

Verruca’s usually clear up without treatment. However, it can take up to two years for the virus to leave your system and the verruca to disappear. However, they tend to last longer in older children, Patients with uncontrolled diabetes, weakened immune systems and adults.

Please note that people with a weakened immune system, verruca`s are less likely to clear up on their own or respond well to treatment.

Leaving the verruca to go away by itself is one option. However, you may want to consider treatment if your verruca is painful, in an awkward position, or is causing you distress or embarrassment.

Treatment options:

There are a number of treatments available for verruca’s. However, no single treatment is 100% effective, and the verruca may return.

The aim of treatment is to remove the verruca without it returning and without leaving any scarring.

Treatments include:

Cryotherapy

Chemical treatments

Salicylic acid

Duct tape

Surgery

To treat verruca is not usually recommended because warts often return and further treatment is required.

Some treatments may cause side effects such as mild pain, blistering and skin irritation around the wart.

Cryotherapy

In cryotherapy, liquid nitrogen is applied to your wart for a few seconds to freeze and destroy the affected skin cells. After treatment, a sore blister will form, followed by a scab, which will fall off 7-10 days later.

A session of cryotherapy usually takes 5-15 minutes and can be painful. Large verruca usually need to be frozen a few times before they clear up. You will probably need to wait a few weeks between each treatment.

There are two different cryotherapy methods. Liquid nitrogen may be sprayed directly onto the verruca

is not usually recommended to treat young children because they may find the treatment too painful. It may also be difficult for them to stay in the same position while having the treatment.

If cryotherapy hasn't been successful within three months, further treatments aren't likely to be effective.

Possible side effects of cryotherapy include:

pain and blistering

your skin may become darker (hyperpigmentation) or lighter (hypopigmentation)

your nails may develop an abnormal change in shape or structure if cryotherapy is used to treat verruca that develop around the nails

Duct tape

Treatment with duct tape involves placing a piece of duct tape over your wart for about six days. If the tape falls off, simply replace it with a fresh piece. After six days, remove the tape and soak the verruca in water.

After soaking the verruca, use an emery to get rid of any rough areas. Leave the verruca uncovered overnight and apply a new piece of duct tape the following morning. This procedure should be repeated for a period of up to two months.

There is limited evidence to support the effectiveness of using duct tape to verruca. However, side effects of this type of treatment are rare, although the skin can become irritated.

Chemical treatments

verruca can also be treated using chemical treatments available on prescription. The treatments contain chemicals such as:

formaldehyde

Treating warts during pregnancy

If you are pregnant and have warts, your GP or Podiatrist may recommend using salicylic acid, cryotherapy or duct tape.

Salicylic acid can be used to treat warts during pregnancy, as long as it is used on a small area for a limited period of time.

Swimming advice

Wearing pool slippers or flip-flops around swimming pools and in communal changing areas will also reduce the risk of getting verruca’s or passing them on to others.

Price: £0.00

QUANTITY


loading