How to treat verrucas
There’s no instant cure for verrucas, but don’t let those words scare you. There are treatments which will safely remove them much sooner than if they’re just left to ‘die naturally’ (which can take years, or even decades!). There are two main enemies for verrucas, and they are salicylic acid and cryosurgery (freezing). There is little evidence to show that one treatment is more effective than the other, though some studies found in favour of salicylic acid.
This works by breaking down the infected tissue and killing the virus. You can apply this treatment yourself (though we recommend you seek professional help) and it’s usually advisable to file the Verruca down with an emery board or pumice stone, before applying the salicylic acid. When doing this, make sure the emery board or pumice stone is not used too aggressively, as this may break the skin and cause the virus to spread. This treatment needs to be applied regularly and it can take quite a long time before the foot is clear.
This involves freezing the Verruca with extremely low temperatures. This, experts believe, destroys the blood vessels that supply the Verruca, so that it ‘dies’. The effectiveness of the treatment (usually repeated at two-week intervals) varies from patient to patient, with some requiring just a few sessions and others a protracted series. The process can produce discomfort and can cause blistering.
Although there are two main treatments, you don’t just have two choices. Though it’s still a good idea to get the opinion of a health professional, you can still follow your own decisions. There are various optional treatments, which are sometimes used to treat verrucas, though many of them need to be carried out by qualified practitioners