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Verruca (Verrucae)

What is it?

What causes it?

Verruca, or the plural 'verrucae', are warts that usually occur on the bottom of your feet. They typically have a cauliflower appearance with black dots [1].

Verrucae on the sole of the feet where they commonly can occur

Verrucae are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) [2]. This virus is contagious and it is usually picked up from moist environments such as swimming pools and communal showers.

What are the symptoms?

What podiatry treatments are available?

A verruca, or verrucae can be painful, especially if they occur on a weight bearing areas. Sometimes they might not cause any pain, but you may find that they look unpleasant. They may also spread into clusters.

  • Debridement – if your verruca has overlying hard skin, our trained podiatrist will gently remove this to expose the verrucae tissue. Sometimes it is the hard skin rather than the verruca itself that causes pain, so removing it will usually improve comfort.

  • Chemical treatments, such as silver nitrate or salicylic acid – a solution will be carefully applied to your verruca to fight the virus [3]. Chemical treatments are readily available over the counter however may not provide the desired results.

  • Swift microwave therapy is a new pioneering system for treating verrucae with great results.[4]. At Open Podiatry our choice of treatment for your verruca or verrucae removal is Swift. Using microwave energy the aim is to stop the verruca replication process. Success rate with Swift verruca removal is very high, especially again stubborn lesions. Swift if suitable for children and adults.



1.     Lucke, T., Munro, C., Roberts, D., Springett, K., Thomson, J. O’Donnell, M. Dermatological conditions of the foot and leg. In Lorimer, D. French, G. O`Donnell, M. Burrow, J. G. Wall, B (eds.) Neales Disorders of the Foot. 7th edition. London: Churchill Livingstone; 2006. p31-33.

2.     Paller A. S., Mancini, A. J. Hurwitz Clinical Pediatric Dermatology: A Textbook of Skin Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence. 4th ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders, 2011.

3.     Potter, M.J. and Bristow, I. (2006) The treatment and management of verrucae using caustics. Podiatry Now, 9, (3), S1-S8.

4.     Longhurst, B., and Bristow, I. (2013) The treatment of verrucae pedis using Falknor’s needling method: a review of 46 cases. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 2 (3): 13-21.

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