When it comes to foot conditions, it’s important to understand the difference between various ailments to seek appropriate treatment. Two common foot problems that often confuse are verruca and corn. While both can be uncomfortable and unsightly, they have distinct characteristics and require different approaches for effective treatment. In this blog, we will delve into the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for verruca and corn.

What is a Verruca? 

Verruca, also known as a plantar wart, is a viral infection of the skin. It commonly affects the soles of the feet and can cause pain and discomfort. Verrucas may appear as small, rough, and raised bumps with tiny black dots (clotted blood vessels) on the surface. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is responsible for causing verrucas, which can be easily transmitted through direct contact or contaminated surfaces.

Verruca Treatment Options

At The Hartland Podiatry Clinic, we offer a range of treatment options to address verrucas effectively. 

Dry Needling

Dry needling is a minor surgical procedure, which involves the use of a fine needle to puncture the verruca lesion and dermo-epidermal junction multiple times under local anesthesia.

The goal is to implant infected cells into the dermis thus stimulating an immune response and, therefore; destruction of the virus.

One huge advantage over other treatments such as cryosurgery and caustic is that only one session of treatment is usually needed. If you have multiple lesions then still only the “mother lesion” needs to be treated as a systemic immune response is initiated. No evidence suggests using this technique can spread the virus further.

Swift Microwave

Swift Microwave Verruca Treatment is a new pioneering technology, developed in the UK, which has been licenced for the general treatment of skin lesions in Podiatry and Dermatology. Swift uses microwave energy which is delivered through a special probe applied to the skin to treat the affected tissue.

Swift is the most effective treatment for Verruca that currently exists in medicine.

Independent clinical trials conducted by Dr Ivan Bristow from The University of Southampton demonstrated success rates of 76%. This trial is supported by research published by Professor Mike Arden – Jones from The University of Southampton’s Faculty of Medicine which proves how microwaves induce an immune response and thus; clear Verruca.

Verrutop – Topical Treatment for Verruca

Verrutop is a new treatment in the UK and is a Class 2A Healthcare Product, which should only be used by a qualified medical professional.

A study involving 200 patients with 766 verrucae demonstrated an 89.3% clearance rate within 6 treatment sessions.

This treatment is suitable for single, very small verruca. It is topically applied. 

What is a Foot Corn?

On the other hand, corn, also known as a heloma, is a hardened area of skin that develops due to excessive pressure or friction. Corns typically occur on the tops, sides, or between the toes. They present as small, circular, and thickened patches of skin that may be yellowish or greyish. Unlike verrucas, corn does not have black dots and is not caused by a viral infection. Corns can cause discomfort and pain, especially when wearing tight shoes or engaging in activities that put pressure on the affected area.

Foot Corn Removal Options

Managing foot corn involves both self-care practices and professional treatments. Self-care measures include using padding or orthotics to alleviate pressure on affected areas and wearing comfortable footwear. Salicylic acid treatments can also be applied to soften the corn and gradually remove it. In more severe cases, surgical removal might be necessary to eliminate the corn permanently. The Hartland Podiatry Clinic offers specialised foot corn removal services, providing expert care and guidance tailored to your specific needs.


In conclusion, understanding the difference between verruca and corn is essential for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. 

While verrucas are viral infections characterised by rough lesions with black dots and are caused by HPV, corns are hardened areas of skin resulting from excessive pressure or friction. Recognising the symptoms, identifying the causes, and seeking appropriate treatment options can help alleviate discomfort and prevent further complications. If you’re unsure about your foot condition, it’s always best to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and personalised treatment plan.

We offer a huge range of chiropody services and specialist podiatry in Oxfordshire and surrounding areas. If you’d like to book an appointment, contact us via telephone 01235 798313 or email info@thehartlandclinic.co.uk. Follow us on Facebook!