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Conditions

Verrucas

close up of verruca on foot

In the same way that walking barefoot around swimming pools, changing rooms and any communal area can lead to Athlete’s Foot, there is also the possibility that you might pick up the odd plantar wart (or verruca) as well. A verruca is a wart on the sole of the foot, which is pressed into the foot by the weight of the body, and can therefore be painful. You can have one verruca or sometimes you can have several small warts packed together into a small area, known as a ‘mosaic wart’ (not as beautifully artistic as it sounds, but usually painless). In children, verrucas tend to come and go quite quickly, but in adults they can persist for several years if they are not treated (although, some will go away by themselves). There are plenty of treatments available, but no single treatment is guaranteed.

+++UPDATE+++

In our episode first broadcast on Wednesday 22nd April 2009 we featured the case of Charlotte who was suffering from a severe outbreak of Verrucas. Charlotte’s operation to remove the verrucas from her foot appears to have been successful and her foot is healing really well. She’s back on her bike and back to being a normal child, pending a potential bone marrow transplant.

If your child has verrucas or warts, check our guide especially for parents on Embarrassing Bodies: Kids website.

Comments and Questions

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Hi, having read the comments I'm not too confident! I have a large verucca on my left foot which has been there for about 5 years I've tried bazucca etc to no avail and am currently filing it regularly - it doesn't hurt but I'm getting pain in my second and third toe which I think may be from it as it's quite close - GP not interested! Last year I developed a large wart on my left hand above my knuckle, GP won't freeze it as it's too close to the bone, constant treatment with bazucca since July and it's just getting bigger, I now have three new ones on my right hand, (from all the picking of the bazucca?) and a couple of spots which look a bit suspicious to me, I don't really know where to go from here as GP doesn't seem to think its a problem but surely it is if they are spreading, I have a 3 year old who I don't want to infect and I also run a toddler group so it's a bit of an issue - any suggestions?





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I have 2 varucas on my right foot . On the ball of my foot between the little and secnond two joints . Had 1 for around 6 years the head is around 5mm in size . The second ive had for around 4 years . Its half the size of the other . Ive treid every form of over the counter treatment. Had them frozen at the doctors 6 times. Been seeing a chiropardist for around 8 months now . Every 2 weeks at £45 a time. Still no cure . No one will remove them. They have been treated reguler for the ever and im still in pain . Feels like im constantly walking on a stone .

Hi, I have had a recent verruca diagnosis. How about trying Cuplex Gel..the doctor prescribed it to me, but it can also be purchased over the counter. Like Bazzuca the active ingredient is Salicylic acid, but this stuff actually works! Same application as Bazzuca too..and after 2 weeks my verrucas are close to disappearing.

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Hi I have about 3 warts on my left hand and 4 on the other, they don't hurt or anything and I've had them for about a year now. I don't really want to ask my parents because the last time I told them I only had 1 on my left hand. All of them are on my fingers except for 1 on my right hand which is on my palm and because I'm in school I don't like to do much, what do I do???





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My 12 year old daughter had a few verucas (about 4 in a sort of triangle, in the space of about 4 mm each way) and as far as we can tell, they're gone. She got rid of them herself, suprisingly, with one of those cheap dentist tools you can get in boots, and picked them out!! She's pretty sure they're gone, but its really hurting her and it bleeds quite a bit. It's been getting more painful and she's having trouble walking because it's hiring her so much. It's just raised calloused skin, but inside where the verrucas were, there's little white lumps of (what seems to be dead) flesh. It's rooted about 5 mm into her foot, and she's not embarrassed, shes just really annoyed and in pain!! What are the white things??? We're going to see her GP soon about it I think. Any help is much appreciated, I don't like to see my girl in pain!





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I think it would be very helpful for people to be able to post images here in order to give better advice, but it is impossible to give any further help. My best guess would be that it is either the verruca, or it could possibly be fibrous tissue (or scar tissue) as a result of self-care. Try and seek the advice of someone who has a lot of experience with this type of problem as they will be able to differentiate between them, or suggest a different diagnosis. Sorry couldn't be more help.

They are not gone then, a podiatrist will be able to shave off the top so, that medication can be applied and penetrate the area. I've had 1 at about 15, I'm 30 now. I remember it was painful to walk on , they are not raised because of the constant pressure walking provides. It may take a few dr visits. The bleeding is because the warts attach 2 the vein for bloodflow, the white area are actually living clumps of cells. The pain is due to the compression of nerves not used to the pressure there. Treatment is painless & they'll be gone. Tell, your, daughter to be careful messing, with them, she got thenfrom walking on an infected area, she can spread then the same way.

have had verrucas on both feet for more than 20 years loads of operations later..........still their ........ something to do with my immune system





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It's highly unlikely that you have immune deficiency. You would likely to be seriously unwell. However some verrucae are resistant. If you are in pain, and have tried over the counter preparations, and have tried professional treatments such as crytherapy (freezing), caustic treatments and electrosurgery, you could seek referral via your GP to dermatology for DCP treatment. Laser treatment is becoming fashionable but I have doubts over the effectiveness claimed, so do your homework wen considering this treatment. Ask the question "How many treatments, on average, do patients need?" and then ask "What percentage of patients achieve complete success" if you know these two things you can have a think about whether that sounds like something worthwhile. You can also now compare completely different treatments to work out what gives you better chances, and even who gets better success. Hope that makes it easier for you. Good luck.

I find it frustrating, years ago I suffered with the odd verruca on my foot, I used to go doctors and get it removed by freezing it and given the little circular plaster and special cream, it took a few weeks or so but would go. Nowadays I go doctors they are not interested in the slightest, just told it's a virus and will take a year to disappear, I have had one verruca that is about 3 years old now, tried everything, but now it has spread I have another two in different areas of my feet and my son has a wart on his hand which I'm pretty confident has come from me.... Looking at posts above doctors have lost interest I find this worrying! I won't be going swimming pools ever....





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I think that it is time for you to see a different podiatrist. If you've had a verrucas for over two years and an adult, the chances of them going away on their own are slim. I had two verrucas surgically removed yesterday after having tried salicylic acid and them disappearing and then returning. I've had them for two and a half years and I know how frustrating and embarrassing they can be.

I have a verruca that is causing me insane amounts of pain all of the time... I have tried nearly everything now but each treatment is just seems to make it hurt more... I have been to several pharmacists who all just recommend the same treatments... I'm at my wits end... Can anyone recommend anything else? Or any way they have reduced the pain? Please?





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Yes. Talk to a podiatrist, but ask them a simple question..."How many treatments, on average, do you take to resolve verrucae?" Anyone should know this figure, and armed with this simple number you can shop around and compare different treatments and different clinics. You will be able to gauge how successful one treatment or practice is over another. Unfortunately when it comes to treatment the more damaging and potentially dangerous the treatment - the more successful they are (generally). Over-the-counter (OTC) treatments are not particularly hazardous, which is why they can be sold to the public - the down side is that they are not generally very effective. Hope this helps.

The main reason verrucae are painful is because they form a lump of dense skin, which is hard, and if this occurs under a part of the foot that you put a lot of pressure on (the heels, or balls of the feet, or toes) you will feel this when you walk. Over time, continually walking on a hard lump causes increasing pain - Just try taping something like half a dried chickea to the bottom of your foot and walk around on it - it's not too bad initially, but over time it will get worse, and worse, and eventually you won't be able to walk. Most treatments try to reduce this lump (the verruca) using acids or freezing, however, if your verruca is painful it's worthwhile remembering that it is just a lump and you can make it less thick by rubbing it down. Take something clean and abrasive and rub it down. It will feel better. You may need to file it down once or twice a week, and it's by no means a substitute for professional advice, but if you are in pain then it should help a great deal.

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i STEPPED ON SOMETHING AND TURNED INTO A VERUCA ..AS I ASKED MY DOCTOR HE GAVE ME VERUFILM TO TREAT IT WITH AND IT CAME OFF. AFTER 2 WEEKS IT CAME BACK AND NOW ITS SPREADER ON MY FOOT I HAVE LIKE 6 ON ONE FOOT AND 2 ON THE OTHER.. THEY ARE VERY PAINFUL TO WALK ON AND I EVEN TRIED ACTIFREZE TWICE BUT NOTHING SEEMS TO BE WORKING FOR ME





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I have a very large verruca on my foot and my gp has told me that there is nothing he can do ? I've had this thing for years and need to get rid of it ? Help me





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Buy a file from the chemist and file it everyday and put bazuca that verruca gel on it.It might bleed but it does work

In certain circumstances, there may be something your GP could do. If a verruca is painful, persistent and has been resistant to most other professional treatments (such as strong caustics/acids or freezing techniques, rather than over-the-counter treatments) and your local NHS or private podiatry services do not offer electrosurgery treatments, you could talk to your GP about a referral to the dermatology department for 'DCP' treatment. This is a treatment involving 'topical immunotherapy' that stimulates the body's immune system. It's a very successful treatment, but you will most likely have to exhausted other options before you are referred.

Hi. I've had a verruca on the bottom of my foot below the big toe, for almost 4 years now. Although from day to day it doesn't cause me much pain, anything touching the middle bit which is encaved deep down, as if it were a volcano, is very sore and painful. Obviously this large verruca is very embarrassing and have tried shop bought products but it still won't go. What would you suggest? Should I leave it as it is?





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Hi I have been using Bazooka on my foot but it seems to be damaging the skin around the verruca a lot, the skin is painful and inflamed. Also seems to be some swelling and I'm not sure if it's helping the verruca! Shall I stop using it?





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It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





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