Warts & Verrucae Policy




We strongly recommend not treating warts and verrucae as per NICE guidelines.

The reasons for this are as follows;

  1. Usually warts do not cause symptoms and will resolve (disappear) without treatment. Half will disappear within a year.
  2. Although warts are unsightly, they are not harmful and although infectious, the risk of passing on to others is low.
  3. The Health protection agency do not recommend restricting activities due to warts.
  4. Treatments can cause irritation and soreness, blistering and in some cases scarring or other complications.

Please consider the following to reduce spread to others and yourself;

  1. Cover warts with a waterproof plaster when swimming.
  2. Wear flip-flops/sliders in communal showers.
  3. Avoid sharing shoes, socks or towels.
  4. Avoid scratching or picking warts.
  5. Avoid biting nails or sucking fingers that have warts.

If you feel you need to try treatment, we would recommend topical salicylic acid as the first option. This must not be used on the face.

Topical salicylic acid (Bazuka, Duofilm, Cuplex, Occlusal, Salactol) needs to be applied every day, and a course may take up to 12 weeks to be effective. Skin around the wart may become irritated and sore.

Steps to take;

  1. Before applying, soften the area by soaking it in warm water for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Peel off any film remaining from the previous application.
  3. Debride (remove) the surface of the wart with an emery board/pumice/nail file once or twice a week, to remove excess hard skin. Stop at the first hint of tenderness or bleeding.
  4. Apply treatment trying to avoid contact with surrounding skin.

An alternative option is to apply Duct tape although the effectiveness of this is debated. You may choose this as an easier option and it may be helpful if your wart is painful as a way of cushioning.

  1. Cover the wart with duct tape for 6 days (if the tape falls off, apply a fresh piece).
  2. Remove the tape after 6 days, soak the wart in water, and gently debride with an emery board or pumice stone.
  3. Leave the wart uncovered overnight and reapply a fresh piece of duct tape the next day.
  4. Continue treatment for up to 2 months.



 We are not providing other treatments at the surgery due to the lack of evidence of effectiveness and risks of harm. Please talk to us if you have an illness that makes you immunocompromised, so that we can assess your situation and discuss possible onward referral.

Due to the limited provision of NHS podiatry, we would recommend that patients wishing to pursue other treatments, consider seeking a private opinion.