Verruca or Warts

Verruca or Warts that occur on the bottom of your feet are called verrucae or plantar warts. They are benign skin lesions found on the soles of the feet. Often they occur on the areas of the foot that experience the most pressure, such as the ball of your foot or the heel. Because of the increased pressure to those areas from walking and physical activity, verrucae in these areas often penetrate deep into the tissue and can be very painful. Verrucae are caused by a virus known as human papilloma virus, or HPV, which enters the body via tiny cuts, cracks or breaks in your skin. They can be spread in moist environments such as public showers, locker rooms and swimming areas, but not everyone who comes in contact with the verrucae funguswill develop one.


Our podiatrists will diagnosis a verruca based on physical exam and description of symptoms. Any overlying or surrounding callus will usually need to be debrided so the lesion can be clearly visualised.


Here at First Step Clinic, our podiatrist will determine how your verrucae needs to be treated, the usual choice of therapy is salicylic acid, which when applied daily eventually softens the skin layers of the wart so that it can be peeled off. This process may take several weeks or months. Other treatment options for verrucae is freezing (cryotherapy) them with liquid nitrogen, and removing them with surgery. In children, a removal method using duct tape may be effective and relatively painless.

Without Treatment

Sometimes verrucae go away on their own if left untreated. However, many can become increasingly larger and more painful and can begin to multiply into clusters of veruccae called mosaic verrucae's and become more resistant to treatment. Walking and running will become difficult in these situations.

You can reduce the risk of contracting verrucae by :

• wearing flip-flops or water shoes in public areas such as swimming pools and changing rooms.

• avoiding direct contact with warts, including your own.

• not touching or picking at warts, which may spread the virus.

The best defense against plantar warts is to treat any new warts promptly so that they do not have time to spread.