What is a Verruca ?
A verruca is a small skin lesion which is commonly found on the bottom surface of the foot. The lesion is normally about 1cm in diameter but can often be larger. All verruca are caused by the human papilloma virus. This is common in all environments but does not readily attack the skin. If there is a break, scratch or a thorn in the skin, this will give the virus an opportunity to enter the skin. Verruca are commonly contracted in communal places such as swimming pools, showers and changing areas. This is why children are more at risk of contracting verrucaes in school changing rooms and swimming pools. Excessive moisture or excessive dryness of the skin can lead to small crack in the skin which allows the virus to enter the skin.
What do they look like?
They look very similar to corns but verrucas are more superficial in depth. The surface of the verrucae is covered with black dots that are actually small blood vessels that feed the verrucae. The colour is usually paler then the usual tone of the skin. Patients often complain that a verruca feels like a small stone under the foot, they are not painful unless they are squeezed from the sides or have direct force applied to them. They are inclined to spread to other areas of the foot and possibly to the hands.
What can you do?
Over the counter products containing salicylic acid may be of benefit in treating the verrucae. However, it is important that application of these products is confined to the affected area only as it may lead to the damage of healthy skin.
- Diabetics or patients with a poor circulation should not use these products.
- Treatment can be a very slow and frustrating process.
- Try to keep the wound covered at all times as it will prevent the wart from growing rapidly and spreading to other areas.
- You can also remove the surrounding callus with a pumice stone.
- It is recommended that you seek advice from a Podiatrist.