While warts and verrucas (warts on the sole of the foot) are not dangerous or harmful, they may be uncomfortable or cause embarrassment. There is no need to remove a wart that is not bothering you. Many young children have warts, and in most cases, they will go away within a few years. Some treatment options are available for warts that occur in troublesome places like the bottom of the feet or ends of the fingers. Many of these have a high success rate, but some treatment options take an extended amount of time to work.
How Can I Treat Verrucas or Warts at Home?
There are two main types of at-home treatments for warts and verrucas.
- Salicylic acid
This treatment is effective, non-invasive, and safe to perform at home. You can buy over-the-counter salicylic acid treatments in the form of gels, paints, and plasters from pharmacies. They do not require a diagnosis or medical treatment.
Patience is vital when treating your wart or verruca with salicylic acid. While it is very effective, it can take a few months for the wart to disappear entirely. Apply the treatment as directed on the packaging or as directed by your pharmacist. With daily treatment, you should see progress within the first month.
- Cryotherapy or Freezing
Freezing warts off can be very effective, but you will most likely need more than one treatment for the wart to go away entirely. Freezing a wart off involves liquid nitrogen being applied directly to the wart. Because this chemical is very cold and is a potential irritant for the skin around the wart, this treatment may not be a good option for verruca warts on the bottom of the feet.
For freezing to be effective, treatment should be repeated every 2-3 weeks. Within 3-4 months, the wart should be gone. Unfortunately, liquid nitrogen can also cause scarring in rare cases, and numbness is common after treatment.
Treatment Options with a Professional
If your wart does not respond to treatment at home or you need a faster removal method, your podiatrist (foot doctor) can help. Here are three methods commonly used in doctor’s offices to remove warts and verrucas.
- Surgery – while a very rare option for warts, surgery can occasionally be necessary to remove stubborn warts that do not respond to other treatment options.
- Laser therapy – Laser therapy can remove warts quickly and relatively painlessly by targetting tiny areas with a laser. This treatment kills the wart and often does not require any additional follow-up. Laser treatment can be expensive and is usually not covered by insurance plans.
- Creams – your doctor may prescribe topical creams to kill the wart cells and prevent new growths. This can take time but is an effective option for many individuals.
Warts and verrucas are not harmful and will go away on their own if left alone. If you have warts on your face or in a place that affects your daily life, see your doctor about removal options. Your podiatrist can evaluate verrucas on the bottom of your feet. If you are in the NYC area and need a podiatrist, Best Foot Doctor in Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn are open and available to meet your needs.