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What are Verruca?

Verruca are caused by an infection of the skin by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) 'Verrucae Pedis' which are plantar warts that can occur anywhere on the foot or toes, either as large singular warts or in smaller clusters.  There are many different variants of the viral infection which are spread by direct contact.

Verruca can disappear without treatment (which can take months or even years) and can spread or become painful to walk on. There is no guarantee that any treatment provided will be 100% successful in resolving your verruca’s.  There are multiple over the counter treatments which can be purchased from a chemist.


We provide a few different treatment options provided by us depending on your preference and the treatment deemed most appropriate by our podiatrist. 


These include:

  • No treatment

  • Over the counter treatments (discuss with podiatrist)

  • The application of caustics (acids)

  • Verrucae dry needling

Before all treatments are provided, the hard skin overlying and surrounding the verruca will be removed with a scalpel.  A small bleed may occur - this is not uncommon and is nothing to worry about.

Things to know

  • There is no specific treatment that works 100% of the time.

  • It often takes multiple treatments to resolve verrucas.

  • Verrucas spread by contact so you may develop new verrucas.

  • Verrucas can reoccur in the same place as previously treated.

  • New verrucas can appear around/near verruca’s being treated during treatment.

Potential risks

  • Post-operative infection

  • Failure of resolution of verruca

  • Allergic reaction to local anaesthetic (anaphylaxis)

  • Temporary nerve irritation

Caustic Application

If you decide to have a caustic applied to your verruca, the surrounding area will be protected with padding and tape prior to acid application.  We use Salicylic acid (most commonly used), Trichloroacetic acid and Monochloroacaetic acid. 


Which caustic applied and the frequency will be decided upon after discussion between yourself and the podiatrist. 


Occasionally our podiatrists may alternate between the acids depending on their clinical decision during the course of the treatment.

Verruca Needling

Verruca needling is a modern procedure carried out after the administration of local anaesthetic.  Needling is different from most other treatment modalities (such as caustics, which can entail dozens of applications to be effective) as it only requires one, or occasionally two, applications making this an ideal treatment for busy people. 24 hours after treatment you can shower as normal without the need to keep bulky dressings dry. In fact, no dressings are required at all after 2 days, so you can continue with daily activities as normal.

Prior to booking a verruca needling appointment, we will need to determine whether you are suitable for both the treatment and the application of local anaesthesia.


Please note verruca needling is restricted to those aged 12+.

We advise you not to drive home after the procedure as your car insurance may be compromised as a result of having local anaesthia administered to your foot.

A verruca needling appointment will usually take around 1 hour.  We advise you to wear loose fitting trousers to your appointment along with shoes such as sandals to accommodate dressings applied.


When the area has been anaesthetised (numbed), multiple punctures of the verruca will be administered to encourage inoculation of the viral infection and encourage an immune response. 


By puncturing the verruca with an empty sterile needle many times, the viral particles are directly exposed to the fatty tissue beneath the skin where the body is rich in immune regulators.


Here, the immune system can recognise and destroy the virus. As this immune response is often systemic, treatment of only one Verruca is required even where there are many lesions as spontaneous remission occurs in all, or most, Verrucae at the same time.


Upon completion, a sterile dressing will be applied.  Protective padding may also be applied if deemed required.


24 hours after treatment you can shower as normal without the need to keep bulky dressings dry. In fact, no dressings are required at all after 2 days, so you can continue with daily activities as normal.


A review appointment will be booked for 1 week after the procedure to check your initial progress and the application of further dressings if required.  A further appointment will then be required in 8 weeks’ time to review the procedure.

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