WARNING: The Embarrassing Bodies website contains images of an explicit medical nature and nudity in a medical context.

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

The EB doctors have been looking at your comments and have answered some of the common questions below. Remember that it is always best to check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.

You can share your experiences and thoughts with other Embarrassing Bodies site-users below. Comments & Questions are reviewed by moderators, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

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???





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

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!





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

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





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

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....





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

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?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

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.

Show all replies in this thread

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





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

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





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

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?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

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?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Iv had a Veruca for 10 years which is getting bigger.. im 35w pregnant and 3 more have appeared, 2 on the same foot and one on the other. Iv frozen them and hasnt worked at all, not even reduced them. The treatments from doctors havnt worked either.. its embarressing and i wont ever take my socks off. how how how can i get RID of them!!





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I am over the moon! I have been battling with my most stubborn verruca for ages. Tried all sorts. About 11 days ago the podologist insisted for the 6th time, she refers me for freezing it . I did not fancy this one bit. So went home feeling really down. Up to now Ihad been using Bazuka. It had doubled in size. About 8 days ago I decided to attack it. Soaked my feet in warm water and salt. The verruca appeared a little raised. Started picking at the top layers of skin with a toothpick and plucking this skin with a sterilized tweezers. Did not dig so deep as I am a bit of a coward. Kept wiping with Carex hand gel. Then I smothered the verruca with baking soda. Covered it with duct tape. (You need more than one piece of duct tape as soda sort of puffs it up and it won't stick) Kept smothering with soda each time dressing came off. Two days ago noticed a black spot. Applied soda and tape again. This morning decided to gently fie verruca with emery board. Wonder of wonders black spot came off with more layers of skin leaving a pink hole. Will keep plastering with baking soda till hole fills up. Hope this helps others.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.



Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

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





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.



Please don't swear or be rude in your questions, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting questions. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines


Important Notice

The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.


If you want to embed our videos in your site, read our embedding T&Cs here


More Information

  1. Breasts

    In Episodes - In this second of four specials, the Embarrassing Illnesses doctors…

  2. Men

    In Episodes - The EI Docs go in search of the most elusive creature in the doctor…

  3. Vaginas

    In Episodes - The EI team roll into Norwich to setup a clinic in one of the count…

  4. Boys, Boys, Boys

    In Episodes - Episode 3 of Embarrassing Teenage Bodies takes a closer look at bin…

  5. Teens Below the Belt

    In Episodes - Episode 4 of Embarrassing Teenage Bodies tackles conditions includi…

  6. Am I Normal?

    In Episodes - Episode 2 of Embarrassing Teenage Bodies looks at conditions includ…

  7. Quick Health Advice: Warts and Verrucas

    In Videos - Dr McKenna looks at the causes of warts and verrucas and some of th…

  8. Consultation: Anal Warts

    In Videos - Dr Dawn Harper diagnoses a patient with anal warts

  9. Doctor Responses: Genital Warts

    In Videos - Dr Christian explains where genital warts come from, what can be do…

  10. Quick Health Advice: Athlete's Foot

    In Videos - Dr Harper gives out some advice on how to avoid getting the particu…

  11. Body Check: Feet

    In Videos - Dr Christian talks about common foot conditions and the importance…

  12. Episode 1 - Pelvic Floor

    In Episodes - This week’s episode includes a woman who thinks she has a gia…

  13. Consultation: Verrucas

    In Videos - Dr McKenna examines two patients with severe outbreaks of verrucas

  14. Episode 5

    In Episodes - Episode 5 featured conditions as diverse as Gynaecomastia (that's m…

  15. Consultation: Second Adult Circumcision

    In Videos - Dr Jessen examines a patient in need of a new circumcision


Help Beat Cancer

Download our free mobile game to help Reverse The Odds in the fight against cancer.

Available on App Store, Google Play and Amazon App Store >