Verrucae: Causes and Treatments

  • By Judith Sullivan
  • 28 Mar, 2017
By Author/Blogger Reggie Simpson
01 Dec 2015

Caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)

You may have experienced a verruca at some point during your life, or maybe you currently have one you’re looking to remove. If so, perhaps you’re wondering what exactly it is, why it occurred and how they can be easily treated. Read on to learn more about the causes and treatments of verrucae and when to seek further advice.

What exactly is a verruca?

A verruca, sometimes referred to as a ‘plantar wart’, is a wart that develops on the body’s plantar surfaces – the soles of your feet.  It is often the case that the pressure of walking or standing for long periods pushes the warts into the skin, causing painful bumps on the surface.  They can appear either alone, or in a cluster – which are known as mosaic warts.

What are the symptoms of verrucae?

The symptoms of verrucae are easy to spot. You’ll notice a small growth on the foot, which will often have small black or darkened dots on its surface.  You may also feel pain whilst putting pressure on your feet.

How can a verruca be treated?

The treatment you choose for your verrucae will depend on their severity, as well as your own personal pain tolerance.

Verrucae will usually go away on their own as a result of the body’s natural immune system, so if you find them to be unnoticeable, you may consider simply waiting it out.

However, if  verrucae are affecting your day to day life, it’s important to sort them. There are a number of over the counter remedies available; however, there is no single miracle cure that will work every time, so a little trial and error is to be expected.

How can verrucae be prevented?

Prevention is simpler than the cure, so it’s worth taking the steps to avoid their development:

•   Keep your feet protected when visiting communal changing rooms or pools.

•   Don’t touch other peoples’ verrucae.

•   Don’t share towels with people who have verrucae.

•   Don’t pick at your verruca as you may encourage the virus to spread.

•   Wear clean socks daily and keep your feet dry.

When should I seek the advice of a professional?

Verrucae are viral in nature, so in most cases, the body will take care of it on its own. However, if you’re continuing to experience verrucae on a regular basis, it’s possible to have them treated with cryosurgery or needling. A professional will also be able to take a look at underlying issues that have made verrucae unresponsive to your previous at-home treatments.

If you’ve tried over the counter solutions only to find them to be ineffective, it may be time to visit a professional for further evaluation and treatment.

If you’re concerned about verrucae or any other foot-related issue, a trained podiatrist can help. Get in touch with Betafeet Podiatry and book an appointment today to ensure your foot problems are diagnosed and treated in good time.

By Judith Sullivan 09 Dec, 2017
By Reggie Simpson
By Judith Sullivan 28 Sep, 2017

We are delighted to announce that prose written by our Practice Business Manager, Reggie Simpson, will be featured in the Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s Rhyme & Reason 2018 diary, now in its 26th year. The theme for this forthcoming year’s diary is ‘Freedom’. All proceeds from sales of the diary go to support this worthwhile charity.

Reggie says: ‘Although my entry wasn't among the top poetry and prize winners, I was chuffed to be selected for the 2018 diary. The theme was quite broad, but my degrees in politics and love of writing invariably drew me to entering the competition. In the end I settled on a focus of freedom in healthcare, no doubt inspired by my current employment at Betafeet Podiatry and the noble work of Rennie Grove Hospice Care ( ).

Rennie Grove Hospice Care, formally known as Iain Rennie Hospice at Home, merged with Grove House, St Albans in 2010 to integrate services in south western Hertfordshire. The ethos and values of the two charities were closely aligned with the principle of allowing patients to lead a good quality of life at home for as long as possible, helping patients and their families avoid the distress of unnecessary hospital visits whenever possible.

The diaries can be ordered from the Rennie Grove website, payment by debit/credit card. It's part of their annual Christmas/holiday promotion. There will also be copies in local Rennie Grove shops. They are £5 each with additional postage if bought online. Shop locations can be found here: .

Here is Reggie’s entry (to appear in the month of September 2018): 

‘Do not count the days; make the days count.’

Muhammad Ali. Professional Boxer.  Audacious. Charismatic. A winner in the ring.

But even when you have won it all, life throws you a few more punches.

Yes, his name opened doors and wealth, but the bombastic man of his younger years was humbled in later life, and following retirement, he dedicated himself increasingly to charitable work. Parkinson’s was already taking hold.

He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, the highest honour the USA can bestow.   He died in June 2016, aged 74.

Now the news is about boxing helping dementia sufferers.

So what does this mean for freedom? Does getting battered around the head spell freedom and choice? One would say yes; a boxer is free to take such risks. When the consequences deal you a fatal blow as a result, when do you lose your freedom? Is it when you have been reduced to a shadow of your former self, a normal human being, and have to rely on others? Muhammad Ali likely had plenty of resources to ensure his final days would help him on his final journey.

We tend to think of freedom in political terms. It is hard to remove freedom in healthcare from politics. Think NHS reform, among others. Freedom in a healthcare environment means more to the individuals and families when they have life-limiting illnesses and need the care of volunteer-run hospices such as Iain Rennie Grove.

The NHS gives patients the rights to make choices about different aspects of the care they receive, from the different treatment options available. How these are chosen is individual, although for those with life threatening or limiting illnesses this choice will fall on family members. 

I quote the following:

‘In health there is freedom. Health is the first of all liberties’.

Henri-Frédéric Amiel, Philosopher

September is World Alzheimer’s Month.




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