How to Treat Warts and Verrucas

Wart on a Finger
Your Pharmacy can help you to treat warts or verrucas. They are a common skin complaint and mostly affect your hands and feet. Read on to find out how the pharmacy can help you.

Warts and verrucas are common skin complaints caused by a viral infection. They mostly appear on the hands and feet and can cause discomfort. In this article, we’ll tell you more about the treatment options available for warts and verrucas. Plus, how you can reduce your risk of warts spreading to other areas of your body.

What are warts and verrucas?

Warts and verrucas are the same thing. A verruca is a wart that you get on the soles of your feet and is called a plantar wart. They come out as small lumps on your skin mostly on the palms of your hands, your fingers, knuckles, and knees.

What virus causes them?

The virus that causes them is a strain of the human papillomavirus. This particular strain causes the production of too much of a hard protein called keratin on the top layer of your skin. The over-production of keratin means warts or verrucas appear on your skin.

How do they spread?

Verrucas are often spread in places like swimming pools where infected skin scales are on the floor. That’s why it is better to wear flip-flops in a swimming pool area, including showers.

warts and verrucas can spread when you scratch or rub them. This transfers the infection to other parts of your skin. 

How do I prevent the spread of warts and verrucas?

  • Wear flip-flops if you go swimming and cover your wart or verruca with a plaster.
  • Wash your hands and keep your feet clean and dry
  • Change your socks every day
  • Don’t share gloves, socks, towels, or face flannels
  • Don’t pick or scratch at the wart
  • Don’t put your fingers in your mouth or bite your fingernails if you have warts

What treatments are available?

The most common treatment is using a topical treatment or cryotherapy.

Topical Treatment

Paste, patches and paint that contain salicylic acid.  Salicylic acid helps the skin to shed dead cells from the epidermis.  When you use a cream or liquid with salicylic acid protect the surrounding area. Use a product like Vaseline because the acid can irritate other areas of your skin. Ask your Pharmacist which product they recommend.


Cryotherapy  is a treatment that uses a low temperature to remove certain skin conditions like skin tags, warts and verrucas. Your pharmacist will apply liquid nitrogen to the affected area. This will remove the skin lesion.  

The application only takes seconds. After the application, the wart or verruca will turn white and over the course of a few days will scab over. After a few weeks, the scab will fall off along with the wart or verruca.

VSM Pharmacy

You can access this treatment at VSM Pharmacy. Currently (April 2024) it costs £69.99. You can book an appointment online.

On the day of your appointment, the pharmacist will examine your wart or verruca to make sure treatment is appropriate.  If it is, then the lesion will be frozen. Four weeks later a follow-up appointment will make sure the treatment area has healed.  

If you can’t book online, you can phone the pharmacy on 01276 21002 or pop in and speak to a member of staff.


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VSM Skin Cryotherapy service

VSM Pharmacy is thrilled to introduce our new Cryotherapy service. This advanced procedure utilizes extreme cold to address various skin conditions. From warts and skin tags to age spots, discover how cryotherapy can offer quick and effective treatment.

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