Feet with hotspots

Warts and Verrucas

Most people will contract a verruca (also called a plantar wart) or wart at some point in their life, usually before the age of 20. On average they last for 2 years but with treatment can be cleared more quickly.

Corns (sometimes referred to as calluses) are different to warts and verrcuas and are caused by pressure or friction rather than by a contagious virus. They can be caused by everyday activities, such as running or gardening.

But what are they?

What are Verrucas
and Warts?

Verrucas and warts are small, rough lumps of skin that are caused by the Papilloma virus (called HPV). They vary in size from as small as 1mm to over 1cm. On the foot, a wart is called a verruca or plantar wart.

Verrucas are circular, feel rough and protrude just above the skin surface. They are located where there is pressure on the foot so are often found underneath the big toe, the ball of the foot, or on the heel. They can be isolated or be in small clusters. While not normally painful, they can be if they press on a sensitive part of the foot.

Corns and calluses are also rough areas of skin but unlike warts and verrucas are caused by ill fitting shoes.

Verrucas and Warts

Identifying verrucas and warts, and treating them promptly is key. If you're not sure how to tell them apart from corns and calluses, our guides can help you:


How to identify
a verruca


How to identify
a wart

Corns and Calluses

How to identify
a corn or callus

Life cycle of a
verruca and wart

After initial infection with a type of virus called human papilloma (HPV), it can take weeks, or even months, for a verruca or wart to appear. This time between infection and noticeable symptoms is known as the incubation period.1

After the incubation period, on average verrucas and warts will last for 2 years. Nearly half of people wait at least three months before taking any action2, and while warts and verrucas will eventually go away by themselves, they can become painful and harder to get rid of. Leaving them untreated also increases the chances of spreading them.

Foot with hotspot

How can you get verrucas?

The verruca virus is spread through skin contact with contaminated surfaces. This explains why people often catch verrucas in communal changing areas, like those at swimming pools and gym clubs, and especially where they are barefoot.

Virus-infected skin cells are shed onto the floor and passed onto others walking over the same area. If someone has a verruca, the virus can spread to other parts of their body as well as to other people.

Hand with hotspot

How can you get warts?

Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) which is highly contagious.

We’re more susceptible to getting a wart if the skin on our hands is cut or scratched. The damaged skin makes it easier for the virus to enter once in contact with a contaminated surface.

Children between the ages of 12 and 16 are particularly prone to catching the virus2,3. Some children often have trouble not scratching or biting warts on their hands, which can cause warts to bleed and split, making them more contagious.

We've got some tips to help prevent you from catching and spreading verrucas and warts.

verrucas and warts

While they will go away if left untreated, this can take years.

Verrucas and warts can be treated with Bazuka gels and Freeze Treatment - Find out how to treat a verruca.

THe Bazuka Range

Where can I get Bazuka?

Bazuka gels and Freeze Treatment are available from pharmacies and Amazon and can be used to treat warts and verrucas.

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Can verrucas last for years?

Yes, on average it takes 2 yrs for the body to fight the virus that causes verrucas.

What happens if a verruca is untreated?

If untreated it will go away eventually, generally without causing problems. However, they can become painful and are harder to get rid of if treatment is delayed. They can also spread to others.

How does Bazuka get rid of verrucas?

The active ingredients in Bazuka gels are salicylic acid and lactic acid. These soften the hard skin growth making it easier to remove. They also help kill the virus that causes warts and verrucas.

How long does it take to Bazuka that verruca?

Bazuka Treatment Gel should be applied once daily. The gel should be applied to the wart, verruca, corn, or callus every night. Treatment can take up to twelve (12) weeks for resistant lesions to disappear, and it is necessary to persevere with the treatment.

We've also got a comprehensive FAQ Section.

  1. Health Protection Agency Factsheet on Verruca and Warts September 2011.
  2. NEMS Omnibus for Bazuka April 2011.
  3. nhs.uk/conditions/warts-and-verrucas/ April 2018.