What is a Verruca?
A verruca is a wart on your foot. Verrucae (one verruca, two verrucae) is a type of wart that grows specifically on feet. Verrucae are surprisingly common, mostly harmless, and many do not even know they have them. There might be just one singular verruca or a verruca cluster covering a greater area of your foot.
Verrucae are a result of a viral infection (yes, another virus!). It is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). There are well over one hundred types of HPV. Particularly HPV 1, 2, and 4 subtypes could potentially lead to verrucae developing on your feet.
What is the difference between a verruca and a corn?
Some verrucae have black dots in the centre, and some do not; therefore, some of them can be mistaken for corns and allowed to grow. Verrucae usually push apart the papillary lines on the foot, and corns do not.
Usually, a verruca is painful when you pinch it but not when pressing it, and a corn is painful when it is pressed but not when pinched.
What are the causes of a verruca?
Verrucas are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). There are many myths surrounding how we get them; the most common one is the swimming pool. This is partially true, but it’s not the pool that is necessary to blame.
The cross-infection from one person to another will happen by bare feet being exposed to surfaces walked on previously by an infected person.
This is why the swimming pool myth is so prevalent; it’s not the pool directly that will give you a verruca, although a pool is the perfect breeding ground for a verruca to thrive as the floors are always wet! Plus, everyone at a pool is always barefoot; this is why verruca are so easily spread. The same goes for public changing rooms where you walk barefooted, shared yoga mats, and yes, you can catch it by direct contact.
As everybody’s immune system is different, some of us will develop verrucae, and others will not.
How can I prevent getting a verruca?
Verrucas are common and nothing to be ashamed of. Most people will develop at least one during their lives. There are a few simple measures you can take to reduce the risk of infection:
Try not to walk barefoot in places where people can spread their warts to others. These are the communal areas such as: swimming pool surrounds, changing rooms, communal showers, dance studios, shared yoga mats, and saunas, to name just a few.
Try not to touch warts, yours and others. If you have to touch them wash your hands carefully with warm soapy water. Do not share footwear with others and try not to try shoes in shops without any socks on.
You should also avoid sharing towels and socks with other people.
What are the treatment options for verrucas?
Evidence has shown that, in many cases, verrucae will go away after a while. If you would like to “wait out” a plantar wart, you can certainly do so. The catch, though, is that this can take up to a couple of years. At the Farnham Foot Clinic, we will be able to accurately diagnose your verruca and discuss treatment options available to you, both home and clinic-based.
One of the main verruca treatment options that we use here at The Farnham Foot Clinic is swift microwave verruca treatment. This revolutionary form of verruca treatment works by delivering rapid bursts of heat to the wart on your foot. This treatment only takes a couple of minutes, and then the body’s natural healing process works towards destroying the verruca.
Swift verruca treatment offers several benefits that other forms of verruca treatment, such as:
– Minimal discomfort during the procedure
– A very fast treatment time
– No post-treatment dressings or plasters are needed
– There is no need for an anaesthetic injection
– You will experience a rapid reduction in pain following the treatment
What over-the-counter remedies are available?
With over-the-counter remedies, evidence shows that the ones based on salicylic acid are the most effective. However, never self-treat them if you have diabetes, have poor circulation, or suffer from diminished sensation in your feet. Bear in mind that over-the-counter remedies only work about half of the time (if even that often) and provide the risk of damaging healthy skin around the wart.
We can’t stress enough, never attempt home surgery on your wart or verruca. In doing so, you put yourself at an unnecessary risk for infection.
Always seek advice from a podiatrist.
What are the costs of treatment for a verruca?
The cost for verruca treatment will depend on the number of verrucae on your foot and how stubborn they are to remove. Please contact us to get in touch with one of our friendly podiatrists here at Farnham for further information on verruca treatment. Alternatively, you can book an appointment online.
Is verruca treatment different for a child?
Our experienced podiatrists can change all forms of verruca treatment that we perform to be suitable and comfortable for children.
Will verruca go away by itself?
Usually, our clients request treatment because they find their verruca either unsightly, uncomfortable, or both. Verruca can itch, hurt, cause rubbing, and spread to other parts of the foot. Therefore like with any lesion on your foot, it will either become sore to walk on or there is a chance that it will force you to avoid the painful area, alter your gait and cause you aches or pain in other parts of your foot or leg.