Verrucas: how do I get rid of them?

I swim three times a week at my local pool, but I have developed a couple of verrucas on my foot. I tried a Wartner freezing kit, but I found it too painful, and it did not work. Can you suggest something painless that will remove verrucas?

Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:

Verrucas are warts caused by viruses. The wart embeds itself in the tissue of the foot, and it is driven inwards by pressure from walking. In my experience, the best way of getting rid of them is by treating them regularly, over many weeks, with a strong acid preparation. I would suggest that you try either Verrugon ointment (which contains 50 per cent salicylic acid), or something similar from the chemist that contains at least 25 per cent salicylic acid. You need to apply the acid every day. If the verruca begins to get a bit sore, this shows that the treatment is working. If it gets too sore, stop the treatment for a day or two, but you must carry on until the verruca is well and truly gone. The key to success is persistence until the verruca dies and falls out. Verrucas should not prevent you from going swimming. If you are worried about spreading infection, you can cover them with a plaster. There is no good evidence that people catch verrucas from one another at swimming pools.

Please mail your questions for Dr Fred to He regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions.