A verruca is a wart found on the foot, they are small rough lumps that appear on the skin of the feet, and are the same as warts found on any part of the body. They can appear on one or both feet, they can be singular, or they can cover larger areas of skin.
Verruca are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) infection; they are more common amongst children, sports people and users of communal bathing facilities, where the skin is more vulnerable to picking up the viral infection. They are not considered to be majorly contagious, although they can spread from skin to skin contact and indirectly via cross contamination such as through socks or towels. They can be spread on the body through picking and scratching them. The chances of contracting a verruca are increased when the skin is damaged or scratched, particularly when it is wet as then it sis more vulnerable to damage, this is why there is a strong correlation through contracting verruca at swimming pools and communal bathing facilities.
Verruca are usually harmless and painless, although they may cause discomfort if on a weight bearing area of the foot. They may appear as roughened hardened areas of skin anywhere on the feet. If on a weight bearing area, they tend to be flat due to the pressure when walking, or they may be raised if on a non-weight-bearing area such as the top of the toes. Sometimes they have pin-prick darkened areas within the verruca that sometimes bleed when the overlying hard skin is reduced.
If you have a verruca, do not pick or scratch it as this can lead to spreading. Do not share towels, socks or footwear with anyone else. If visiting a communal bathing facility or swimming pool be sure to wear something on your feet, and cover the verruca with a waterproof plaster or skin-safe tape to prevent spreading to others. If you think you have a verruca, you should visit a podiatrist for an assessment for diagnoses and treatment options.
Verruca often clear up on their own without treatment, research has shown verruca resolve without intervention in adult within two years, therefore treatment is not always indicated. There are a few treatment options for verruca but there is no treatment which is 100% effective, some treatments work for some where they might not work for others. It is not uncommon for verrucas to take many months of regular treatment to clear. Hard skin that may develop over a verruca can be removed with a scalpel blade to relieve discomfort by a podiatrist. At Liverpool Podiatry there are different treatment options available; such as freezing or chemical application to help clear the verruca.
If the verruca is under 2 years old, there is a strong possibility that it will clear its self without any intervention and treatment may not be indicated.
Home treatment acid application can be used to destroy the tissue and is to be applied on a regular basis over many months until the verruca has cleared.
Acid treatments can be applied by a podiatrist in the Liverpool Podiatry clinic, the verruca is reduced with a scalpel then an acid is applied to the area. It is to be left in situ for a long as recommended by the podiatrist, this is repeated every few weeks until the verruca has cleared.
Cryotherapy is the use of extreme cold applied to the verruca to damage the tissue and stimulate an immune response to clear the virus. This is repeated every few weeks until the verruca is cleared and can take many sessions.
Are two other treatment options which are suitable for more stubborn/long-standing verruca. Liverpool Podiatry does not currently provide these treatments.
Following an assessment with a podiatrist, you will be offered the most suitable treatment method for clearing verrucae, and further advice will be given regarding prevention of them reoccurring.
Download our Verruca Treatment information pack
Download our Verruca Needling information pack
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