Verruca Removal Auckland

April 15, 2024

They may be small, but verrucas, also known as plantar (foot) warts, are much more than just a minor annoyance. They can be painful to walk on and extremely persistent, making your day to day life a lot less pleasant or comfortable. As one of Auckland’s leading podiatry clinics that specialise in ingrown toenails, we know many people that seek long lasting solutions for ingrown nails are also searching for professional treatment to effectively remove these stubborn warts, especially if they’ve had unsuccessful attempts in the past using cryotherapy (wart freezing) or patches from the pharmacy. So what can really be done for plantar warts?

First: Understanding Verrucas

Verrucas are a specific type of wart that typically appears on the soles of the feet, as well as the borders of the feet and the toes. They are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which enters the body through direct contact with entry points via tiny cuts or breaks in the skin on the foot. Once established, verrucas can be recognised by their cauliflower-like appearance and may have one or multiple small black dots at their centre, which is caused by clotted blood vessels. Unlike other warts, verrucas are often flat due to the pressure placed on them when walking. They can be painful, especially when located on weight-bearing areas of the foot. Due to their viral nature, verrucas are contagious and can spread to other areas of the foot or to other people through direct contact or shared surfaces like gym floors or swimming pool areas. That’s why if someone in a household has a wart on their feet, we recommend getting it treated promptly to reduce the risk of it spreading – especially if you’re sharing surfaces like shower floors.

Professional Verruca Removal

While there are numerous home treatment options available, it’s likely that you’re reading this because these haven’t worked for you. And truth be told – they don’t work for most people, either. This is why you’re doing the right thing seeking professional help from an experienced podiatry team for verruca removal. 

Professional treatments are faster, more reliable, and safer than DIY methods, which can sometimes lead to skin damage or infection if not done properly. We not only use specialised and evidence-based techniques to treat verrucas effectively, but we make sure that your long-term foot health is prioritised at all times.

The benefits of professional wart removal include:

  • Effectiveness: as podiatrists that specialise in foot and skin conditions, we can assess the severity of the verruca and choose the most effective treatment method, ensuring that the entire growth is removed (where possible), which reduces the chances of the verruca returning.
  • Safety: our podiatrists use sterile equipment and follow strict hygiene and patient safety protocols to prevent infection and avoid damaging healthy surrounding skin.
  • Expert guidance: alongside treating the foot warts, you’ll also gain valuable advice on how to prevent future occurrences and maintain optimal foot health.

By opting for professional verruca treatment or removal, you receive a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to your specific needs, making it the safest and most effective option for dealing with foot warts of all sizes and severities.

Common Verruca Removal Methods

Several professional techniques are employed to effectively remove verrucas, each with its own advantages and safety profiles. Here are the most common methods used:

  • Dry needling: this involves using a fine needle to puncture the wart multiple times. This process helps trigger the body’s immune response to attack the virus that causes the wart. By stimulating the immune system directly at the site of the wart, dry needling can help to clear the infection and promote the natural healing of the skin.
  • Cryotherapy (freezing): this involves applying liquid nitrogen to the verruca to freeze and kill the affected tissue. It’s a quick procedure usually requiring multiple sessions to ensure complete removal of the verruca. Success is not guaranteed, but may be more likely for smaller or superficial warts.
  • Salicylic acid treatments: applied as a gel or a patch, salicylic acid helps to dissolve the verruca over time. 
  • Silver nitrate: being one of our preferred methods due to our patient results and feedback, silver nitrate acts as a caustic agent that chemically burns and destroys wart tissue, helping to eliminate the wart over time. It is typically applied directly to the wart, causing the affected tissue to dry out and eventually fall off, promoting the healing of the skin underneath.
  • Wart excision surgery: in persistent cases, a minor surgical procedure is performed by podiatrists that are trained to do so under local anaesthesia, to cut out the verruca. The wart in its entirety is ‘scooped’ out, leaving the area (ideally) wart-free once healing has occurred.

Each of these methods has its own set of considerations, including the number of treatments required, the recovery time and the likelihood of success. Your podiatrist will provide guidance on which method may be best suited to your specific situation based on the size and location of the wart or warts, as well as your overall health.

Choosing the Right Clinic in Auckland For Wart Treatment

Choosing the right podiatry clinic is an important part of achieving the best results for your verruca removal. Here at Perform Podiatry, which is the home of the Auckland Ingrown Toenail Clinic, we’re proud to have verruca treatment and wart removal surgery as one of our areas of expertise. We also offer:

  • A highly experienced and qualified team
  • Strict safety, cleanliness and hygiene practices
  • 100% personalised care so that your specific needs are heard, understood and met (and exceeded, which is always the goal for us!)
  • 4.8/5 stars from over 250 reviews
  • Genuine care and compassion for every single patient, no matter how big or small the concern

Wart Dry Needling: The Process

Dry needling for plantar warts begins by administering local anaesthetic to numb the area. Once the anaesthetic takes effect, we use a hypodermic needle to puncture the verruca repeatedly. This helps to stimulate the immune system to recognise and fight the virus that’s causing the wart.

Following the needling, we apply a simple dry dressing to protect the area and keep you comfy. It’s crucial to keep this dressing dry for at least twenty-four hours to prevent infection and promote the initial stages of healing. You should begin to feel sensation in the area within two to three hours after the procedure.

After forty-eight hours, it is safe to shower, and normal activities can typically be resumed without significant disruption. Some slight discomfort may be experienced during the first couple of days post-procedure.

The healing progress is monitored by your podiatrist with follow-up visits scheduled approximately two weeks after the procedure to check the healing and remove any scabbing. A final check around eight weeks later helps to assess the degree of regression of the plantar wart, ensuring the effectiveness of the treatment and guiding any further care.

Surgical Verruca Removal: The Process

Surgically removing a plantar wart also begins with using anaesthetic to numb the area. Once the area is numbed, the edges of the wart are carefully circumscribed. This step involves delineating and separating the affected viral tissue from the healthy surrounding tissue to prevent any spread of the virus during removal.

Using a curette (a surgical instrument designed for scraping), we’ll then meticulously scoop out the entire plantar wart. Removing the entire thing minimises the risk of recurrence at the treatment site. After the removal, the area is carefully dressed to promote optimal healing, protecting it from infection and aiding in the recovery process.

You can resume showering and their normal daily activities after forty-eight hours, ensuring that the dressing remains intact and the area stays clean to support healing. Despite the high effectiveness rates that we achieve in our clinic from this treatment, it is important to note that there is no guarantee that warts will not reoccur in the future. The human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes plantar warts, remains in the body even after the warts are removed. This means that future outbreaks can occur unpredictably, depending on your unique immune response to the virus and certain events in your life (such as times of high stress).

Preventing Verrucas

Preventing plantar warts is an essential part of foot care, especially if you frequent communal areas like gyms, swimming pools, or locker rooms where the virus thrives. Here are some preventive measures you can take:

  • Always wear flip-flops or pool shoes in communal wet areas to minimise direct contact with the floor where the virus can be picked up.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry. Change your socks daily, and if your feet are prone to sweat, consider using antifungal powders or sprays.
  • Avoid sharing shoes, socks, towels, or other personal items that come into contact with feet, as this can spread the virus.
  • Small cuts or abrasions on the feet can provide an entry point for the virus. Treat these promptly and cover them properly to reduce the risk of infection.


Is verruca removal painful?

The level of discomfort that you may experience will vary depending on the treatment method you choose. This is something your podiatrist will go over and explain prior to starting any treatment for plantar warts.

How long does it take to recover from verruca removal?

Again, your recovery times will change based on the treatment method and your healing response, which is dependent on a number of things like your overall health status. Typically, most patients can resume normal activities within a few days, but it may take several weeks for complete healing.

Are verruca removal procedures covered by health insurance in New Zealand?

Your coverage will vary depending on your health insurance policy and the nature of the treatment. Some policies do cover treatments deemed medically necessary, and others may not include treatments for skin conditions including warts. We highly recommend checking in with your insurance provider for specific details regarding your coverage prior to booking your appointment as we don’t have access to any information about your specific policy.