A verucca (or plantar wart) is a benign growth that occurs in the outside layer of the skin on your feet. These warts occur due to an infection by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Veruccae are extremely common, particularly in children, as it's easy to pass on the warts through swimming pools, baths and other areas where you have bare feet. Although it's easy to catch a verucca, many people find it hard to get rid of these annoying warts. Find out the main reasons why here.

Ineffective treatment methods

To effectively treat a verucca you need to contain the virus to the area of the infection (the wart) and cause trauma to the verucca. By doing this, your body's immune system immediately sends white blood cells to the area and kills the virus. The more often you apply a verucca treatment and cause trauma, the more rapidly your immune system will respond.

As such, it's vital that you follow the instructions on any verucca treatment product. If the manufacturer (or your podiatrist) tells you to apply a chemical treatment four times, follow the instructions. The HPV virus is hardy. Even a verucca that initially responds well to treatment can easily come back if you don't properly deal with the infection.

Underlying medical conditions

If your immune system is weaker than normal, your body may find it difficult to produce enough healthy white blood cells to kill off the virus. This problem is particularly common if you are run down with a cold or flu. Other chronic medical conditions can also cause issues. For example, any condition that results in a suppressed immune system could interfere with your ability to fight off veruccae.

Some medications can also cause problems. For example, people with ulcerative colitis often need drugs to suppress their immune system, or they may experience ulcers in their large intestine. These people could find it hard to fight off a verucca infection because the drugs limit their immune system's abilities to kill the HPV virus.


Your immune system normally grows weaker as you age. As such, older people may find it more difficult to fight off a verucca infection. In these cases, you may need to take extra steps to help your body deal with the infection.

For example, you should use a file to remove dead skin from the surface of the verucca before you apply a topical treatment. This step will allow the liquid to more easily penetrate the verucca. You may also want to consult a podiatrist, as he or she can use stronger treatment methods.

Veruccae affect many people in Australia, but these unpleasant warts are difficult to get rid of. Talk to your podiatrist for more information and advice.