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Video

Dr Pixie: We all want to pass something on to our kids, but father and daughter Karl and Rebecca Rhodes are keen to lose the bond they share.

Dr Pixie: Right, what can I do for you today?

Karl: We’ve come to see you about our feet, we’ve both got verrucas, quite a big infestation of them, we were wondering if you could do anything for us?

Dr Pixie: Right well let’s have a look at these, let’s do dad first, that’s quite sore is it?

Karl: Yep, that’s quite painful.

Dr Pixie: Now let’s have a look at yours Rebecca. You’ve got quite a collection haven’t you?

Rebecca: Yeah.

Dr Pixie: See all those black dots? That’s the blood supply feeding the little buggers. I think you both need a little bit of help.

Karl: Yes please.

Dr Pixie: Verrucas are warts on the side of the feet that have pushed back into the body because of the weight of the body pushing down on them. In the UK 1 in 10 of us may have them at any one time. Verrucas are a viral infection and will spread easily, but they’ve got nothing to do with poor hygiene. They can disappear of their own accord but this may take years. There are treatments available including freezing and creams.

Dr Pixie: I’ve got some photographs here that might interest you of how bad these things can get actually. When you get a collection of warts like that, it’s called a mosaic wart and it’s quite a tricky one to treat, it’s quite an ugly one. And this isn’t a very pretty sight is it? Look at how far down they are going, covering probably 15% of that foot. Clearly you’ve tried treatments and they haven’t worked, sometimes warts burn themselves out, so the best thing to do I think is to treat it but treat it aggressively. Al we’re going to do is we’re going to freeze these, for both of you. Basically we’re going to give them frostbite, and what happens when you get frostbite? Your skin falls off. So we’re going to freeze these little guys to -50 degrees centigrade. How’s that feeling?

Rebecca: Cold!

Dr Pixie V/O: With a few more freezing sessions it should be the end to wearing socks in the swimming pool.

Karl: it’s slightly like sticking a very cold pin deep in my foot.

Dr Pixie: Right Karl, you’re done!

Read the video transcript

Consultation: Verrucas

Verrucas can be extremely painful and amazingly difficult to get rid of, although many can clear up on their own. It’s probably not surprising to hear that there are 8 million of us suffering from them at any one time! So it’s up to Dr Pixie McKenna to sort out these two patient’s verrucas when they visit her for a consultation.

If your child is suffering from verrucas or warts, check our condition guide for parents on Embarrassing Bodies: Kids website.

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Comments and Questions

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I've had a verruca now for about 4-5 years it started off as one on the ball of my left foot I went to the doctor told me it was hard skin. As the years went one more apperared I now have 5 small ones in one place, I am a hair dresser and all my feet all day and there extremely painfull! I've tried all over the counter products including scholl,bazuka ect, I've also tried tea tree oil, duck tape and I've also been going to a proper foot clinic every 6 weeks to be told every time "it's getting better" wasting my money when it's still the same I have tried every thing they had to offer from the first year i went and I had one and since then I now have 5. I've been back to the doctors and they say there's nothing they can do! Someone please help i just want them gone !!! :( :(





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I have two verrucas on my left foot and one on my right,I've tired cryotherapy and multiple acid treatments,I'm applying scholl heal and seal every day while I file down the dead remains but I feel like nothing is happening,I feel like I'm not getting anywhere.ive been doing this for months.Im fed up of being self conscious,I have a holiday in June with my other half and I need them gone!.Ive been to the Gp and it was useless,any ideas? Would white vinegar help?.





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I've had one that is right in the middle of the ball if my foot under my big toe. I've had it for most of my life. A good 17 years! And I've tried nearly everything to get rid of it. It's painful and seeing as I've grown up with it its affected my joints and my knee as I've compensated for the pain. I've tried freezing it at the doctors, banana skin, had duck tape over it for 6 months and did something at first then nothing improved. I've tried iodine and salisylic acid. I've had it electrocuted by a chiropodist. I've tried getting drunk and digging it out!! But that was too painful and I've even had nightmares about it! But now I'm trying this apple cider vinegar. It is really painful though. It makes the entire ball of my foot throb. Has anyone tried this before? And why does it make it throb and ache so much? If it's been there for such a long time also how deep is the root of this thing? It hurts even when I'm not treating it but I've also been told that you can't have it cut out by a doctor.





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I've got two verrucas on the bottom of my left foot- one in the middle, and one under my little toe, but I am so embarrassed and I don't know what to do! I had one before and tried bazzuca but it just came back! HELLLPPP





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i've read most of the discussions above, I'm a qualified and HCPC regulated Podiatrist and have studied Verruca and warts for most of my 27 years of qualified life. In short, Verrucae will spontaneously resolve in about 60-70% of cases, often whilst using home remedies or over the counter remedies, this is why there is so much confusion, some people will 'cure' their wart/Verrucae with vinegar or occlusal or bazooka etc purely because it coincides with the spontaneous resolution that would have happened anyway. In some cases the stronger acid solutions may cause enough damage to trigger the body into an immune response which then clears up the Verrucae. I would say your best option is to find a Health & Care Professions Regulated (HCPC) Podiatrist/Chiropodist, we are the most qualified people to treat warts/verrucae on the foot (and hands for that matter) but seek one who has good experience in treating warts/verrucae. Those of us that have a good level of experience will have access to liquid Nitrogen to freeze the warts off, I've been using this method for about 20 years now. We are also able to use Local Anaesthetic and can provide a surgical option to remove the wart/verruca also. The key questions to ask yourself are; is it painful? A, I bothered about how it looks? If yes to either of those get it treated, if no to both then leave it alone and it may go by itself, if it doesn't then live with it, it's not going to kill you. However I would urge you to ensure it is correctly diagnosed, use your pharmacist or even your GP but if there is any doubt se a Podiatrist, we are the easy to access experts in this field. Watch out for new innovations on the horizon, here at footrescue we have just invested in the new Swift microwave therapy for warts and verrucae, this is a quick and so far highly effective netted of removing the verrucae with virtually no point (2-3 seconds pain at most) although there isn't much research data yet, the trial results are looking promising at around80-90% resolution. Good luck to everyone suffering with this often overlooked problem.





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Hi I have a verruca at the bottom of my right foot and I can not walk on im in so much pain please help thanks





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I went to a podiatrist for my 5 and she revealed the verruca by removing all dead/hard skin that covers it, So it's sort of moist and then zaps it with a long match looking stick that has silver nitrate on it. It burns and is a bit painful for the day but they die, turn black of can pull them off easily with tweezers. Do not try yourself as you are meant to use a new stick for each one or else you spread them. I had mine for 5 years and absolutely nothing worked. Now after two visits I have 1 left and it's shrinking fast. Small ones tend to go in one treatment but bigger ones can take more.





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Hi, I'm 13 and do a lot of physical activity involving bare feet. I get so embarassed about my verruca which is more obvious to see because it is more easy to spot. I have actually had it for over a year and ,last week, I bought bazuka from boots. I started applying it but yesterday I looked at it to check for improvement and noticed that it wasn't improving, it was actually getting harder, more white and greatening. Please tell me why it is not working because I want it gone before the end of the six weeks holidays.





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I've had a large verruca on my left foot for over a month now, I've had them before but they did clear up. But recently I've got a few back and on my left foot it's causing me a lot of pain. I've tried picking it out multiple times but now I have a hole in my foot and it's still there. I also tried Salicic acid from the doctors but it hasn't seemed to help either. Any suggestions? I'm 16 and a regular dancer so it's extremely awkward having verrucas





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I've been doing the vinegar treatment for about a week and a half now and 3 of my verrucas went black. I kept filing them down and the black has just disappeared. I read that once this happened it would leave a hole underneath and would soon heal itself and be clear, but I can see small little black dots inside and I'm not sure if this means the verruca is still alive or not? Should I try and tweezer the black dot/root out? Really stressing out now as I'm going on holiday in 3 weeks! HELP





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Hi there I've had a very stubborn verruca but if u want to get rid f it in three weeks I can help go to your GP and ask for that acid stuff not buzuka it's rubbish do it for three weeks consitensley and it will go no pain at all no filing either

Don't do this it will come back thicker go and see ur gpnfor a couple of freezing sessions


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