WHAT IS A VERRUCA?
Verruca is the common name for a type of wart that
appears on the foot and can be highly contagious.
Sometimes known as a plantar wart, a verruca often looks like a circular patch of rough skin on the sole of your foot. Verrucae can also appear between the toes and the side of the foot. You may also notice a series of tiny black dots – these are actually dried blood within the capillaries. The surface commonly looks similar to that of a cauliflower and can be yellow, brown, grey or even red in appearance.
A regular foot examination will help you notice the telltale signs of a verruca so that you can get the appropriate treatment quickly. This type of wart can be contagious and spreads by direct contact, but only if you’re not immune to the infection. If so, walking barefoot anywhere that infected skin cells are present can cause the infection to spread. The virus that causes verrucae can then hang around for years if not professionally treated.
CAUSES OF VERRUCAE
The cause of verrucae or plantar warts is the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). It can be highly contagious and thrives in damp and moist environments. Swimming pools, changing rooms and communal showers are all breeding grounds for the infection (but only if you are not immune to the infection)!
A verruca starts to form in the outer skin layers. The epidermis has very little immune response, so the body doesn’t initially fight the infection. It then penetrates deeper into the skin, turning off the marker cells that alert your body’s immune response that there’s a problem. By the time you notice it, up to eight months later, it’s too late, and the infection is already well established.
Anybody can get a verruca, but they’re most common among children. Left untreated, they can quickly grow into clusters of mosaic warts, which can be hard to get rid of and which you may find embarrassing. In children the evidence supports self resolution within a two year period in most cases without any form of treatment.
Wear shower shoes
Don’t share towels
Cover any cuts
VERRUCA REMOVAL & TREATMENT
Verrucae can be highly contagious, so it makes sense to familiarise yourself with your treatment options. In general, if the verruca isn’t painful, then treatment isn’t necessary. But if you’d prefer your verrucae removed because they are uncomfortable, or because they’re starting to spread, always seek professional advice before starting a verruca treatment.
If you’re diabetic, pregnant, have circulation problems, are immune-compromised or on long-term medication, consult an expert bout verruca removal for the best outcomes.
The acid-based treatments we use when dealing with your verruca are much stronger than over the counter remedies. Because of the corrosive nature of any acid, this treatment should always be applied by a foot care professional. Acids can take several sessions to eradicate the infected tissue.
The acid works to destroy the infected cells, which can then be removed by a professional. Treatment can be painless, and you’ll be able to continue with restricted activities like swimming. However, you will need to keep your foot dry for 1-3 days after treatment.
Needling is a minor surgical procedure that’s particularly effective in treating long-standing warts. Carried out under a local anaesthetic, it involves puncturing the verruca using a sterilised needle. This procedure pushes the virus into the dermis. It then triggers your body’s immune system, which will then detect and destroy the virus.
A Verruca Needling treatment is commonly used when other types of treatment have failed. In most cases, you’ll only require one treatment, although we will require you to book post-treatment check-ups to check the progress of the treatment. Because the area is entirely numbed beforehand, needling is a painless and effective procedure. However, it can be sore for several days after the treatment and requires a 24-hour rest period.
Verruca Surgery is a minor surgical procedure that’s highly effective in treating stubborn verrucae. Performed under a local anaesthetic, it involves surgically removing the wart and some of the surrounding skin. Depending on the size and location of the verruca, stitches may be used to close the skin after the procedure.
Verruca Surgery is commonly used when other types of treatment have been unsuccessful. Because the foot is numbed, the procedure is painless. However, it can be sore for several days after the treatment and a period of rest will be required.