Verrucae are plantar warts that commonly occur on the soles of the feet or around the toe area. They are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which is highly contagious through direct person to person contact.
What causes verrucae?
The virus thrives in moist, damp environments such as swimming pools, changing room floors and communal shower areas. It is possible to contract verrucae by walking across the same floor as someone with a verruca.
Is is serious?
Verrucae are harmless but can be uncomfortable and painful if they develop on a weight bearing part of the foot.
How do I know I have it?
The most common appearance is that of a small cauliflower type growth on the soles of your feet with tiny black dots. They can grow to half an inch in diameter and may spread into a cluster of small warts.
How do I prevent it?
To avoid catching a verruca, always dry your feet thoroughly after washing. If your feet are dry, moisturise them with suitable creams and lotions. Other tips include wearing flipflops in communal areas, and not sharing towels, shoes or socks.
What are the treatments?
In the first instance, avoid touching or scratching it as it may spread into a cluster of warts. Instead, cover it up with a plaster and this may cure it. For painful or unsightly verrucae or ones which are spreading, you can self-treat using ointments and gels from your local pharmacist.
Treatments provided by a podiatrist may include acid based treatments which as stronger than regular ‘over the counter’ treatments from your local pharmacy. We may also consider cryotherapy which involves freezing the verruca with liquid nitrogen or nitrous oxide gas.
When should I see a podiatrist about it?
If you are worried about your verrucae and self-treatment is not working you should seek the help of a podiatrist.
- Keep your feet clean by washing them every day
- Dry your feet thoroughly after washing them
- Trim your toenails regularly using proper nail clippers
- Change your socks daily to keep your feet fresh
- Wear flipflops in public areas such as showers and swimming pool
Do you require advice on verrucae? Call us.