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What’s the Best Verruca Treatment at Home?

Jul 27, 2023

Verrucas, also known as plantar warts, are a common viral infection that affects the feet. Whilst there are various home remedies for verrucas, it’s important to note that their effectiveness is doubtful.  ‘I’ve faffed around with’, ‘I’ve even tried’, ‘I’ve spent a small fortune on’ are some of the most common phrases we hear in our verruca clinic and as a result we often get asked what is the best home verruca treatment?  And to be honest, in our opinion, there isn’t one, as there is little scientific evidence to back any of them up!

Here are some of the most common ‘I’ve even tried….’ home remedies for verrucas that patients tell us about, when they come into the verruca clinic to get their verruca finally successfully treated!:

1. The first and most common verruca removal home treatment method one is Salicylic Acid: Over-the-counter salicylic acid treatments, available as gels, ointments, or adhesive pads, such as Bazuka gel (UK over the counter treatment)) can be effective in gradually removing verrucas, although clinical success rates are quite low. The acid works by breaking down the thickened skin layers of the wart. It’s important to follow the instructions carefully and apply the treatment consistently over many weeks.

2. Duct Tape Occlusion: This method involves covering the verruca with duct tape, which creates a moist environment and suffocates the virus. Studies have shown mixed results to say the least, with some individuals experiencing improvement while others do not. If you choose to try this method, keep the area clean and change the verruca duct tape regularly.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar:  Does apple cider vinegar get rid of verrucas?  Applying apple cider vinegar directly to the verruca may help destroy the wart tissue due to its acidic properties. However, scientific evidence supporting its effectiveness is very limited. If using this method, dilute the vinegar and apply it using a cotton ball, keeping the surrounding healthy skin protected.

4. Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oi is a herbal treatment for verruca.  It has antiviral and antimicrobial properties and is believed to help in eliminating verrucas. It can be applied directly to the wart, preferably after soaking the foot in warm water. While some people report success with this method, scientific evidence is lacking, and skin irritation may occur in some cases.

5. Garlic: For those looking for a natural verruca treatment, patients have said they’ve tried crushed garlic applied to the verruca and covered with a bandage. Garlic contains compounds that have antiviral properties. However, there is limited scientific research supporting its effectiveness in treating verrucas (and given they’ve ended up at our verruca clinic in the case of our patients it hasn’t worked!). If you try this method, be cautious to avoid skin irritation or burns.

It’s important to note that whilst these home remedies/old wives tales may appear to work for some there is little to no scientific evidence to back them up. Additionally, self-treatment at home may not be suitable for certain cases, such as larger or persistent verrucas or if you have certain health conditions. In such instances, it’s recommended to consult a healthcare professional, such as a dermatologist or podiatrist, for appropriate diagnosis and treatment options.  Remember to always practice good foot hygiene, keep the affected area clean and dry, and avoid picking or scratching the verruca, as it is thought this may spread the virus or lead to secondary infections.

Verrucas used to be really difficult to get rid of, but thankfully it is no longer the case.  As Podiatrists, at The Foot & ankle clinic,  we now have access to a fantastic machine that allows us to quickly zap them (even large ones that patients may have suffered with for many years) so allowing us to get rid of verrucas fast.

Speak to a Professional for Help

If your verruca is causing significant pain or discomfort, or you simply just don’t like the look of it, it’s best to seek professional advice for proper evaluation and treatment.  In the UK verruca removal by the NHS has been stopped by many NHS trusts, but private verruca removal is still an option with private podiatrists treating them.  If you are looking for the best way to get rid of verrucas, then the most effective verruca treatment, in clinical studies, is ‘Swift’, so I would advise finding your nearest provider to do this.  We use Swift verruca treatment on an almost daily basis at our clinic and it has revolutionised the treatment of verrucas, even on multiple verrucas.  Cutting out verrucas (verruca surgical removal) or verruca needling, in the vast majority of cases, is now not necessary due to this advancement in technology.

For more information about ‘Swift’ please click the link to go to our verruca clinic page on our website.