What is it and what are the symptoms?
A verruca, or verrucae (plural), are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are many different types of HPV, but most warts are caused by only a few specific types. HPV invades the skin through small cuts or abrasions on its surface. The virus then infects cells in your skin, causing it to thicken and coarsen.
Verrucae are slightly raised and circular in shape, with a thickened rim of surrounding skin. Verrucae can sometimes be confused with a corn. The main differences are:
- The surface of a verruca may have black dots, likened to a pepper-pot appearance, this is the blood supply.
- Verrucae can present in a mosaic fashion across the bottom of the foot.
- Verrucae cause changes in the skin pigment with striations broken. Corns do not have changes to the pigment.
- Verrucae may or may not cause pain depending on the location on the foot. Those in weight bearing areas are likely to be more painful.
- Verrucae will hurt when pinched, whereas corns are painful on direct touch.
What causes them?
They are spread via direct skin contact person to person or indirectly via contact with floors or surfaces contaminated with the virus.
Although they are highly contagious, the risk of catching them is low as the virus needs a portal of entry. You are more likely to get infected if your skin is damaged or wet, therefore it is often linked to swimming pools and communal showers as it is where you and others are going to be bare foot.
It is also possible to infect yourself too. If you scratch a wart or verruca, the viral particles may spread to other areas of your skin. You are more likely to develop warts and verrucae if you have a weakened immune system.
Sheridan Foot Health will diagnosis verrucae after conducting a physical examination of your feet.
What is the treatment?
Sheridan Foot Health will undertake a consultation and a treatment plan will be devised to suit your individual needs and requirements. Using a scalpel, we will remove the callus (hard skin) covering the verruca to assess how vascular and active the verruca is. This also exposes any roots that are present, so treatment is applied more directly to the verruca. We can then apply topical treatment to the roots to aid the speed in which the verruca becomes dormant.
We can supply treatments for you to take away and use as well as information to reduce spreading. You may need to return in 6-8 weeks to remove any hard skin build up. It may not be an instant fix as verrucae are viral so can be notoriously difficult to treat, therefore there isn’t a guarantee as to when exactly the virus will become inactive.
Verrucae can resolve spontaneously or may take several months or years. The immune system plays an important part in the process and patient compliance with regular treatment application is required to ensure a higher success rate.
Contact the team on 02392 388149 or 07795 522700 for a consultation and treatment.