How to treat warts and verrucas

What do warts look like and where do they grow?

Common warts are firm, raised and rough they can appear on the palms knuckles knees and fingers. Usually they are the same colour as your skin however on darker skin they may appear darker. There are also warts that are flatter than common warts. These warts are usually yellow and rounder and normally appear on the face back of the legs and hands. These warts are known as plane warts. Mosaic warts are clusters of warts that are typically found on feet and hands.

What do verrucas look like and how do they grow?

Verrucas grow on the soles of your feet. They’re quite distinct from the warts  as they have tiny black dots in the centre. They also tend to be painful when you put weight on them and it feels like you are standing on a needle. You can buy creams, plasters and sprays from pharmacies to treat warts and verrucas.

Treatment for warts and verrucas

Most warts will not require GP intervention most warts can be treated with a simple trip to your local pharmacist. You should only see a GP for a wart for the following reasons:

  • you’re worried about a growth on your skin
  • you have a wart or verruca that keeps coming back
  • you have a very large or painful wart or verruca
  • a wart bleeds or changes in how it looks
  • you have a wart on your face or genitals

If you do have a wart on your genitals then please visit your sexual health clinic.

A GP may be able to freeze a wart or verruca so it falls off a few weeks later. You will need to check with the GP if the NHS pays for this treatment in your area. If treatment has not worked or you have a wart on your face, the GP might refer you to a skin specialist. Other treatments include minor surgery and treatment with laser or light.

Stop verrucas from spreading

Warts and Verrucas are caused by viruses and are spread by skin to skin contact or contaminated surfaces. You are more likely to spread warts and verrucas if your skin is cut or if it is wet. 

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