Warts and Veruccas

Warts and verrucas are small lumps that often develop on the skin of the hands and feet. They are caused by a virus called HPV, and are not associated with cancer. They are not harmful, and most clear up without any treatment.

There are some treatments which may promote your immune system to fight off the virus and could speed up resolution of the wart.

Click here to look at all evidenced based management options for warts and veruccas - Patient Decision Aid


Wart and Verucca Information

What are warts?

    • Warts are fleshy growths on the skin caused by infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV).
    • When they occur on the feet they are often known as verrucas.
    • They are common
    • 1 in 10 people have warts at any one time
    • Most people will have a wart at some time in their life

Do I need treatment?

    • 1 in 5 warts will disappear within 6 months without treatment
    • 65% of warts will disappear in 2 years without treatment

When is treatment needed?

    • If the wart is painful or itchy
    • If on medication that affects your immune system (your doctor can advise you of this)

Wart Paint Treatment

    • Occlusal (26% salicylic acid) can be bought from a pharmacy and is the most effective wart paint.
    • It needs to be applied daily for at least three months.
    • The treated wart needs to be filed down once a week with an emery board.
    • If used correctly at least 80% will disappear.

For stubborn Warts

    • If 3 months of treatment with Occlusal has not cleared the wart you can make an appointment with a GP who may refer you to minor surgery where cryotherapy may be administered. 

Summary Tips

    • Treat daily for three months and file once a week.
    • Be patient results are slow.
    • Contact a GP only if wart still there in three months.