Verruca – what are they?
One of the common foot problems we see at the Chiropody Surgery are verrucae. This short article explains all about them and how they may be treated.
Verruca (Sole of foot)
So what are they?
The word verruca (plural: verrucae) is a word to describe warts that arise on the sole of the foot. In reality, they are not much different to warts on the hand, for example. The only difference is that as they are on the sole of the foot where the skin is thicker than skin elsewhere, they are often more difficult to treat. In children, warts and verrucae are very common. For most children the majority of warts clear up by themselves within about 2 years but in adults, they can be very persistent with some people having them for years.
What causes them?
Warts and verrucae are caused by a virus (called the Human Papilloma Virus) that infects the outer layer of the skin. It can be picked up when walking barefoot where others with verrucae have walked. The virus makes its way into the skin and within a month or two, a wart may develop at the point of contact.
How do I know if I have one?
Verrucae are usually small areas of hard skin on the soles of the foot and maybe mistaken for corns or callus. Generally, you may have one or a few and close examination of the wart shows little black dots like splinters within it. Verruca also hurt when you squeeze or pinch them.
What should I do about it?
Verruca can be a problem for some as they can hurt, whilst others may have them and not even notice. Some people may have one or two others - dozens. Simple over-the-counter remedies from the chemist can be useful to try initially but if they don’t seem to be curing the problem then it maybe worth speaking to one of our team about other treatment options if they are problem.
What can we do to help?
Firstly, its good to get a proper diagnosis as sometimes warts can look like corns and vice-versa. Your podiatrist can take a history and examine your feet to make the diagnosis. Once we have the all the background information, we can offer the right treatment specific to you. The treatment can range from basic over the counter preparations through to more involved treatments including the use of microwave, which can be used to stimulate your bodies immune system to clear the infection. It must remembered that that no treatment can give a guaranteed cure, but certainly they can improve your chances of getting rid of the viral infection more rapidly. If you need any help, simply book an appointment to speak to one of our podiatrists.