Verruca socks are special waterproof socks which aim to stop the spread of verrucas. They’re commonly used by children during swimming lessons. Verruca socks are also often purchased by parents to stop a verruca spreading to other children, or to stop a child getting a verruca in the first place.

How many of us have childhood trauma memories of being teased during school swimming lessons for our verruca sock? And how many endured the humiliation of being ordered from the pool because we weren’t wearing one but had a verruca?

There’s a lot of angst surrounding verruca socks, so you would assume that they actually work. Why else would we use them? But the truth of verruca socks may be quite different to what you’d expect. Here we’ll answer the question of whether verruca socks work, once and for all, and also explore alternative options to treat your verrucas. 

What Are Verrucas?

Verrucas are caused by a viral infection of the growing layers of the skin. They occur when there is contact with skin or surfaces contaminated with the human papilloma virus (HPV). The HPV strains that cause verrucas thrive in warm, moist environments, and they enter the skin through cracks in the skin, cuts or wet, fragile skin. This is why so many are picked up at swimming pools.

HPV also causes issues like cold sores and warts, however, there are differences between warts and verrucas.

Do Verruca Socks Work?

The first thing to understand about verruca socks is that they aren’t a treatment. They weren’t designed to cure your verruca, or even to alleviate the symptoms of a verruca. They serve one function, and one function only: verruca socks are designed to cover the verruca so that it doesn’t spread. 

While it’s understandable that we’d want to avoid spreading our verruca to others, and as such it would seem to make sense to wear one, the British Swimming Association advises against them. There are several reasons for this:

  • The brightly coloured socks draw attention and can lead to teasing, putting children off swimming.
  • The socks are as effective as a waterproof plaster.
  • The HPV strains are prevalent and most children will be exposed at some point (often without symptoms). Immunity to the virus occurs in time, which is why verrucas are less common in adults.
  • Verrucas are usually painless and go away in time.

Most experts agree that the use of verruca socks should be discouraged. They don’t achieve their goal any better than a simple waterproof plaster would, and by drawing attention to the verruca you’re potentially damaging your child’s self-esteem. Beyond that, while it’s unpleasant to have a verruca, exposure to the virus ensures you immunity to it, so there’s a question hanging over whether or not we should try to stop them spreading. 

There is also a risk that verruca socks give the impression you’re treating the verruca, or taking steps (no pun intended) to cure it. This can lead to people failing to take any other actions to deal with their verrucas. Not only does this prevent them improving, it can lead to the situation escalating.

What Can I Do Instead?

Verruca socks may not offer an effective solution to your verruca, there are things you can do to slow the spread of the virus:

  • If you have a verruca, cover it with a waterproof plaster when you go barefoot in areas such as swimming pools and communal showers. 
  • If you want to avoid getting a verruca, you can wear flip flops in swimming pools and communal showers.
  • Avoid sharing towels, shoes or socks.

It’s important to remember that it is very difficult to completely avoid contact with the virus. 

Should You Seek Treatment?

While verrucas are unsightly and annoying they can also become a lot more problematic. A verruca can cause pain in your foot while walking, and they are also prone to becoming infected. If your verruca is bothering you, you can seek treatment from a podiatrist. Even if you don’t really notice it, treating your verruca and getting rid of it as soon as possible is a good idea; you don’t want to have to deal with an infected verruca.

Getting Rid Of Verrucas

If you do get a verruca, it is possible to get rid of it. Avoid scratching at or filing the verruca because this can lead to infection. There are creams and gels available to buy, but these have low effectiveness rates. 

There are several ways to effectively treat a verruca. Years of experience have taught us which forms of treatment are best for verrucas, and at Northwich Foot Clinic, we offer three highly effective treatments:

Swift Microwave Therapy

Swift Microwave Therapy is an innovative and cutting-edge treatment method, currently leading the pack in terms of efficacy for verruca removal. As verrucas are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), it’s crucial to target not only the surface presentation but also the underlying virus itself. The core of this method relies on the use of microwave energy. When applied to the verruca, this energy targets and heats up water molecules within the affected cells. The rise in temperature causes localised cell destruction, which in turn stimulates the body’s immune response to recognize and combat the HPV.

One of the most notable benefits of Swift Microwave Therapy is its efficiency. While some treatments may require prolonged or multiple sessions before any significant results are observed, patients undergoing this therapy often notice improvements relatively quickly. Typically, a total of three sessions is recommended for optimal results. Each session is brief and directly targets the verruca without causing damage to the surrounding skin. Furthermore, the precise nature of the microwave application ensures that only the affected area is treated, preserving the integrity of nearby tissues.

Another significant advantage of Swift Microwave Therapy is the minimal aftercare required. Unlike some other treatments that necessitate bandages or dressings to protect the treated area, there’s no such need after a Swift session. This not only makes the post-treatment phase hassle-free but also reduces the chances of secondary infections or complications. While the thought of “microwaves” might sound intimidating, the technology has been refined to ensure safety and comfort. Most patients report minimal discomfort during the procedure, often describing it as a brief sensation of heat. Additionally, the technology is compliant with safety regulations, ensuring peace of mind for those opting for this treatment.

Swift Microwave Therapy is a revolutionary approach to verruca treatment, offering a combination of effectiveness, efficiency, and convenience. For those looking to address their verrucas without the prolonged downtime or extensive aftercare, it presents a compelling option. It’s also a lot more effective than verruca socks!

Verruca Needling

Verruca Needling is another innovative approach to tackling the stubborn and often unsightly verrucas. As opposed to surface treatments that primarily focus on the topmost layer of the skin, needling delves deeper, targeting the very root of the verruca. It involves the use of a fine needle to repeatedly puncture the verruca. The goal here isn’t just physical disruption; this action stimulates the body’s natural immune response. By introducing the virus present in the verruca to the deeper dermal layer, the body becomes better equipped to recognize and fight the human papilloma virus (HPV) causing the verruca.

What sets Verruca Needling apart from many other treatments is its convenience. Many patients find the idea of a single treatment appealing, especially when compared to treatments that require repeated sessions. The treatment begins with the application of a local anaesthetic to numb the area, ensuring patient comfort throughout the procedure. Once numb, the practitioner uses the needle to disrupt the verruca’s structure. The entire process is relatively swift, causing minimal disruption to a patient’s day.

After undergoing Verruca Needling, a follow-up review is typically scheduled for 6-8 weeks later. This allows the practitioner to assess the body’s response to the treatment and determine its success. Moreover, the healing process is generally uncomplicated, with the puncture sites healing naturally over time. Given that the procedure involves direct interaction with the verruca through puncturing, it’s crucial to ensure sterility. Practitioners adhere to stringent safety protocols, ensuring that the risk of secondary infections is minimal. Furthermore, the method has shown significant efficacy in many patients, making it a go-to choice for those seeking a one-off solution to their verruca problems.

Verruca Needling offers a potent blend of efficiency, effectiveness, and convenience. For those keen on tackling their verrucas with a one-time treatment, bolstered by the body’s natural defence mechanisms, it stands out as a top recommendation.

Laser Therapy Treatment

Laser Therapy Treatment has become a preferred method for treating various skin conditions, including verrucas, especially when seeking a painless option. This non-invasive procedure harnesses the power of concentrated light beams to address the root of the issue. Given its pain-free nature, it’s particularly well-suited for children who might be apprehensive about other treatments. 

Laser Therapy for verrucas operates by directing a precise beam of light energy at the verruca. This energy penetrates the skin and targets the verruca, causing localised heating. The heat destroys the virus-infected cells, ultimately leading to the verruca’s gradual elimination. Over time, the body naturally replaces the damaged tissue with healthy skin.

One of the primary advantages of Laser Therapy Treatment is its painless procedure. The laser settings are carefully calibrated to ensure they target only the verruca without causing any discomfort. This feature is particularly beneficial for children, ensuring their experience is trauma-free and as comfortable as possible.

During the session, protective eyewear is typically provided to both the patient and the practitioner to prevent any accidental exposure to the laser beams. The laser device is then manoeuvred over the verruca, emitting short bursts of light. The duration of the treatment can vary based on the size and number of verrucas, but sessions are generally brief.

After Laser Therapy, there’s minimal downtime. The treated area might appear slightly reddened or swollen, but these side effects are temporary and usually subside within a few days. Since the procedure is non-invasive, there’s no need for bandages or extensive aftercare.

Modern laser devices are equipped with advanced safety features, ensuring the beam’s precision and preventing any damage to the surrounding skin. The targeted nature of the treatment ensures that only the verruca cells are affected. Moreover, many patients and practitioners report high success rates, making it an attractive option for those seeking effective solutions.

Laser Therapy Treatment stands as a testament to how technological advancements have revolutionised the realm of skincare and medical treatments. Offering a painless, quick, and efficient solution to verrucas, it’s especially ideal for children and anyone seeking a hassle-free and comfortable experience.

You can book your treatment through our simple online booking system, or phone the clinic on 01606 45077 if you are not sure which treatment is best for you.  Our team of experienced podiatrists are registered with the College of Podiatry and highly skilled at the removal of verrucas.