Verrucas, verrucae or plantar warts are small lesions, rough lumps, warts or growths that are found commonly over certain areas of the feet like the heel and the balls of the feet that commonly bear pressure.
Verrucas usually resolve on their own but may need treatment if they cause symptoms. For example, around half of these will disappear within one year, two thirds go away after two years and the rest, one third are persistent.
Causes of verrucae
Verrucas are caused by a viral infection by Human papilloma virus (HPV) types 1 and 2 and sometimes 4. This virus attacks the topmost layer of the skin or the epithelium. This causes the cells to proliferate or form a growth or a raised plaque. Sometimes it may take up to a year or two after the initial viral invasion for the lesion to show up. Verrucas are not cancerous.
Mode of spread
Verrucas are usually spread by person-to-person contact. Common modes of spread are sharing communal showers where other people with verrucas have also bathed, swimming pools etc. Verrucas can occur if the skin of the feet are damaged or ulcerated in any manner.
In addition spread may also occur if there is scratching, nail biting, shaving or finger sucking. This results in spread to different areas of the body of the same person.
Professional Verrucae Treatment and Assessment
If you are experiencing problems with verrucae or simply want to confirm diagnosis of suspected verrucae you are recommended to book in with our podiatrists/chiropodists
Initial Verrucae Assessment and Treatment
Common treatments for verrucae:
The type of treatment deemed most appropriate can depend on the number, size and location of the verrucae, age of the patient and the levels of pain caused by the verrucae.
- Freezing, also known as cryotherapy
- Strong acid treatments (these are far more aggressive/effective than over-the-counter ones you may have tried)
- Dry needling, which is a form of treatment designed to stimulate the immune system.
The number of appointments required to eradicate verrucas will vary from person to person and is something that our podiatrists/chiropodists will discuss with you at your appointment.Make an Appointment