This website uses cookies to function correctly.
You may delete cookies at any time but doing so may result in some parts of the site not working correctly.

Warts and Veruccas


Warts and verrucas are small lumps on the skin that most people have at some point in their life. They usually go away on their own but may take months or even years.

Warts don't cause you any harm but some people find them itchy, painful or embarrassing. Verrucas are more likely to be painful – like standing on a needle.

You can treat warts if they bother you, keep coming back or are painful.

A pharmacist can help with warts and verrucas

You can buy creams, plasters and sprays from pharmacies to get rid of warts and verrucas.

These treatments can take up to 3 months to complete, may irritate your skin and don't always work. You shouldn't use these treatments on your face.

Your pharmacist can give you advice about the best treatment for you.

  • You're worried about a growth on your skin
  • You have a wart or verruca that keeps coming back
  • You have a very large or painful wart or verruca
  • A wart bleeds or changes in how it looks
  • You have a wart on your face or genitals

Genital warts can be treated at a sexual health or GUM clinic.

Find your nearest sexual health service

Treatment from a GP

Your GP may be able to freeze a wart or verruca so it falls off a few weeks later. Sometimes it takes a few sessions.

Check with your GP if the NHS pays for this treatment in your area.

If treatment hasn't worked or you have a wart on your face, your GP might refer you to a skin specialist. Other treatments include minor surgery and treatment with laser or light.


How to stop warts and verrucas spreading

Warts and verrucas are caused by a virus. They can be spread to other people from contaminated surfaces or through close skin contact. You're more likely to spread a wart or verruca if your skin is wet or damaged.

It can take months for a wart or verruca to appear after contact with the virus.



  Wash your hands after touching a wart or verruca

  Do not share towels, flannels, socks or shoes if you have a wart or verruca

  Change your socks daily if you have a verruca

  Do not bite your nails or suck fingers with warts on

  Cover warts and verrucas with a plaster when swimming

  Do not walk barefoot in public places if you have a verruca

  Take care not to cut a wart when shaving

  Do not scratch or pick a wart

Read more medical detail from NICE about warts and verrucas.

NHS Choices

Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergencyNHS ChoicesThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website