How to Treat a Verruca
Julie-nne Monahan, Foot Health Care Practitioner
What are Verrucae?
Warts and verrucae are small rough cauliflower like growths which can affect any area of the skin. Verrucae are found on the soles of the feet and can present in clusters or singularly.
What Causes Verrucae?
They are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) which is thought to be present in warm damp conditions, for example, in showers, pools and communal changing areas, so it may be caught by walking barefoot on wet surfaces. The virus may enter the skin through a cut or an abrasion.
Who is most at risk?
- Children and young adults, probably because they are more likely than most to use communal showers
- Those with poor/weakened immune system
- Do not to touch other people’s verrucae
- Do not share towels, flannels, foot files, pumice stones, socks or shoes with someone who has a verruca
- Wear flip flops in communal areas
- Keep feet clean and dry and cover cuts or grazes with a plaster if using a communal area
If one appears
- Do not scratch or pick as it is more likely to spread, especially if it bleeds
- Cover with a plaster or a verruca sock
- Do not walk around barefoot in communal areas to avoid infecting others
- File it down so it doesn’t become painful when walking
- Use clear nail varnish to seal the verruca and stop it from spreading
Verrucae can take up to 5 years to disappear, even after treatment. Often the body’s immune system will eventually destroy the virus. However:
- There are several over the counter treatments to consider but it is always important to read the instructions before using. If you are diabetic or suffer from circulatory problems seek professional advice.
- Foot Health Professionals may use a number of treatments including liquid nitrogen and excision.
- Alternative therapies are often very successful. These may involve using banana skin, cider vinegar, tea tree oil, etc.
Julie-nne, Monahan (Foot Health Care Practitioner) or her colleague, Debbie Shears (Podiatrist) are happy to answer your queries. ALWAYS SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE IF IN ANY DOUBT