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Warts are small rough growths that appear on the skin that are typically painless but can be found unsightly. If you have a wart on your foot and you are concerned then visit one of our podiatrists at who can provide you with advice and treatment.

What are warts?

Warts are small raised lumps that appear on the skin, they are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Warts are benign, this means that they are not cancerous.

What causes Warts?

Warts are caused by a viral infection, specifically the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).

The HPV virus is contracted through skin to skin contact as well as through objects and surfaces, this means that if an infected person touches an object with the wart, and then someone else touches or uses that object, then that person has a risk of contracting the virus and therefore a wart also.

Communal areas such as swimming pools and gyms can also harbour the virus due to there being a lot of people walking bare foot in the same space.

What are the signs and symptoms of warts?

The signs and symptoms of a wart include the following:

  • A single or cluster of small rough, raised growths
  • The skin surrounding the wart may be lighter or darker
  • A plantar wart (verruca) may have a cluster of tiny black dots within it, these are blood vessels and overlying callus

Types of warts

There are a variety of different warts due to the different strains of HPV. The following information refers to warts that appear on the foot only.

A verruca is the name given to a plantar wart, this is a wart found on the sole of the foot.

Mosaic Warts
Mosaic warts grow in clusters and are common on the sole of the foot.

Perriungual Warts
Perriungual warts are found under and around the toe and fingernails. Periungual warts can often distort the shape of the nail as it pushes against the nail plate.

Common warts
This is the characteristic wart: rough, raised and with a cauliflower appearance. Common warts are often found on fingers, but because of this they are easily spread to other parts of the body.

How are warts diagnosed?

One of our podiatrists at will be able to easily identify a wart based on its appearance.

What would podiatry for warts involve?

A visit to always begins with an assessment. An assessment is a crucial part of the appointment and includes:

  • A medical history
  • A social and occupational history
  • Your account of the problem
  • An examination
  • Treatment as and where appropriate
Upon the diagnosis of a wart your podiatrist may recommend one or more of the following treatment options

  • Watch and wait: if you have a verruca that is not painful, there is a chance the body kills the virus on its own. In the mean-time, your podiatrist can remove the overlying surface of the verruca. Sometimes the verruca may bleed during this, this is quite normal; it is due to the blood vessels (which appear as black dots) within the verruca bursting.
  • Salicylic Acid (available at all our clinics)
  • Cryotherapy (available at all our clinics)
  • Needling (check with the office if this is available if interested)
  • SWIFT verruca treatment (check with the office if this is available if interested)
  • Verrutop (check with the office if this is available if interested)
  • Debridement (available at all our clinics)
  • Occlusion
  • Surgical removal (with a surgeon)


A wart is either a cluster of, or a single, small, rough, benign lump that appears on the skin and is the result of infection with the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Warts can be contagious and spread through skin on skin contact, as well as through objects, clothing and footwear.

If you have a wart and you are concerned then why not visit one of our podiatrists at Our podiatrists are highly skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of foot and lower limb conditions; we will diagnose and explain your condition, before deciding upon a mutually agreed treatment plan.

To arrange an assessment with one our podiatrists please email or call 0330 088 4222.

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