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Park Lane Surgery
 Park Lane Surgery

Park Lane Surgery

8 Park Lane
EN10 7NQ
Tel: 01992 465555
Out of Hours: 111
Prescribing of over the counter medicines is changing! For more information and support please visit the NHS website, nhs.uk/OTCmedicines

Warts and Verrucas


Warts and Verrucas are very common. Warts are small lumps that develop on the skin while Verrucas are also warts which because of their position in the weight-bearing surface of the foot grow inwards rather than outwards. Most people will have warts at some point in their life. They are cause by the human papilloma virus (HPV) which causes an excess of a substance called keratin to develop in the top layer of skin, resulting in a hard, rough lump. As many as 1 in 3 children or young people may have warts. Because they are caused by a virus, there is a risk of passing them on to others but the risk is low and you need close skin-to-skin contact to pass the virus on directly. You are more at risk of being infected if your skin is damaged or if it is wet and macerated and in contact with roughened surfaces. This is why a lot of Verrucas are picked up in swimming pools and communal washing areas.


Most people request treatment for Warts and Verrucas because they are unsightly and they believe they need treating to stop the spread of infection. However there is very little evidence that treatment of Verrucas make any difference. They are generally harmless and go away on their own eventually when your immune system clears the virus which causes them. There is no need to treat warts if they are not causing you any problems. Verrucas and warts should only be treated if they are on a pressure point and are causing pain or discomfort. Half the number of children with warts will find they disappear within a year without any treatment and two thirds will have gone within two years. Occasionally warts last longer, particularly in adults.


If treatment is still required, all warts and Verrucas should be treated with over-the-counter medications brought from the chemist. Depending on product used treatment may need to be repeated for 3-6 months to be successful. Treatment is associated with a considerable amount of nuisance ad discomfort and this should be balanced up against the problems caused.


In making a decision you need to ask yourself- what is important to me?

You may want to think about:

  • Do i want any treatment as warts eventually go away without treatment?
  • Do i want to use chemicals on my skin?
  • How patient am I with treatments that take longer and have to be done daily?
  • Do I have a very painful wart?

People often request cryotherapy as treatment option for Warts and Verrucas but this is no longer offered due to limited effectiveness. 4-84 in 100 cases will not be cured, treatment can be painful and it can cause ulceration in people with poor circulation.


For more information please go to the following websites:

NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk/

Patient UK at www.patient.info/


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