Thorough assessment, clinical examination and clear diagnosis are imperative in treating Verrucae. Plantar warts on the feet are commonly referred to as Verrucae.
Verrucae are sometimes painful, especially if they appear over a pressure area of the foot. They are usually harmless, but can be unsightly as sometimes they can be quite large.
Verruca can be a small and affect one single concentrated area of the foot, or they can be multiple or sometimes one huge skin abnormality may from.
Verrucae are not only found in children but can appear at any age. However children of school age are more commonly affected than adults, simply because most children like having their feet out. Verrucae can typically last up to 18 months (according to text books). In reality they clear up faster in children. In adults they can take weeks months or many years to clear..
What are the causes of Verruca?
They are caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), they are highly contagious but relatively harmless. Many patients often misdiagnose corns as being Verruca as their appearance can be very similar. Corns and callus (hard skin) can usually hide a Verruca, once the hard skin is removed a Verruca can sometimes be found underneath. Verruca are by a virus, they are commonly spread in communal changing rooms and swimming pools. However Verruca can also be found anywhere where people have bare feet.
What are the treatments for Verrucae?
Because Verrucae are caused by a virus, it means it is essentially very hard to kill. Therefore a patients own immune system needs to act to resolve them. All treatments are designed to stimulate the bodies immune system to recognise that the Verruca is their and slowly get rid of it. There are numerous treatments available to treat Verrucae. However none are fully proven to work, but as above some are designed to stimulate the bodies own immune system more than others. General reduction of a Verruca by scalpel blade provides immediate relief and gently stimulates the bodies immune system. Scalpel debridement and caustics (strong specialist chemical) are more aggressive. The most systematic and aggressive method available at most clinics is cryotherapy. This freezes the Verruca causing significant localised tissue damaged (frost bite), from which a very strong immune response can significantly speed up recovery of normal tissues. However it is not for everyone as it can cause some mild discomfort whilst being applied. Your HCPC registered chiropodist will need to fully assess the patient before recommending an appropriate treatment. Please see Verrucae treatments for more details.