Learn to Swim

A guide to the Learn to Swim Programme

Swimming and verrucas, the facts


Learning swimming and verrucas can go hand in hand with kids and adults alike. These warts on the feet have long been seen as a nuisance. But should parents worry about them? The answer is no.

Few parents would argue verrucas are anything other than a nuisance. However, experience has led Swim England to the opinion that to place resources into eradicating verrucas is a waste of time.

Swimming and verrucas: the best way forward

Verrucas, like most warts, are due to a viral infection of the growing layers of the skin. They get in when the skin is injured in some way.

This is especially the case for barefoot activities surrounding swimming pools. The plantar skin on the base of the feet gets soggy and is more easily damaged.

As with most infections, particularly viral, immunity to the virus occurs in time.

  1. The majority of skin specialists are not in favour of treating verrucas. Many feel that because the virus is so widespread, it’s better to spread it as much as possible and as early as possible in the lives of children.
  2. The use of devices, such as plastic socks, to protect the feet should be discouraged. As with elasticated knee bandages, the socks have limited value other than of attracting attention.
  3. The use of a waterproof plaster is sufficient to cover the verruca during lessons.

When should verrucas be treated?

The main indication for treating verrucas is intolerable pain or tenderness on walking. This is usually because of the hard skin that accumulates around the wart. So, in short:

  • If they are causing your child pain, contact your doctor.