Verrucae are warts on the foot and are caused by a virus. When present under the foot they can be very painful to walk on, particularly if under high pressure areas. The virus itself does not cause pain, but the hard skin it develops does.

Verrucae are contagious and spread to others via contaminated surfaces or skin contact. When skin is wet, pores open up, allowing easier access for the virus to enter the skin. This is also true when the skin is damaged. Consider this when walking barefoot in wet environments.

With the Summer almost upon us, and with barefoot or swimming activities increasing at this time of year, Verrucae should be something to watch out for.


Due to the nature of viruses, there is no 100% guaranteed treatment, but treatments are divided into two main types:

  1. Encouraging the immune system to detect the virus; and,
  2. Destroying the Verrucae at a faster rate than they grow.

Treatments include:

  • Salicylic acid (of varying strengths)
  • Silver nitrate
  • Cryotherapy
  • Verrucae needling (Falknor’s needling)
  • Electrocautery; and,
  • Surgery


To reduce your chances of contracting a verruca, try:

  1. Avoid being barefoot on a wet floor by wearing flipflops in changing rooms and communal showers. If you are swimming, wear the flipflops up to the pool edge.
  2. If someone you live with has a verruca, keep the bathroom floors, showers and baths clean between uses. Ideally use separate bathrooms and do not share towels, socks or shoes with them.

If you have a verruca:

  1. If it is painful, see a podiatrist.
  2. If it is not painful, do all the above so that you do not pass it on. Also try at least applying a small amount of salicylic acid to the area to form a small barrier.
  3. Wash your hands after touching it.


Remember, if left alone verrucae usually disappear with time, but they can spread or get bigger. Try not to contract or pass one on. If you have one, keep a layer of salicylic acid on it – this helps to destroy it and keep a barrier over it.


Please get in touch if you would like to discuss verrucae treatments or any other foot complaints.

T. – 0207 412 8882

E. –

A. – 27 Harley Street, London, W1G 9QP

Written by Steven Thomas – Podiatrist, on behalf of Podogo
©Podogo Ltd. 2020

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