What is a Verruca?
A verruca is another name for a wart on the sole of the foot.
Verrucae are the result of a viral skin infection by the ‘human papilloma virus’. This virus has more than 100 strains and verrucae can result from a number of these. Verrucae caused by different strains of the virus can behave quite differently from each other. At present we cannot test verrucae to identify which strain may have caused the infection.
How did I get it?
The virus enters through tiny breaks in the outermost layer of the skin (epidermis). For this reason, you are more at risk of being infected if the skin is damaged, or wet and in contact with roughed surfaces such as the tiled flooring around swimming pools and communal wash areas. Verrucae, much like warts, can also be spread directly to others - this would require skin-to-skin contact.
What do Verrucae look like?
Verrucae can vary in size and may appear as single lesions or as a cluster of multiple lesions (mosaic verrucae). They have roughened surfaces and some, but not all, may have black dots (small areas of bleeding from tiny blood vessels from the deeper skin).
What treatments are recommended?
The British Association of Dermatologists recommend treating the verruca if it is painful, cosmetically unsightly or if the verruca is persisting. The following is their recommendations for treatment:
Adults and older children:
1. Topical salicylic acid (15-50%) applied daily for up to 12 weeks.
2. Cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen) carried out by your Podiatrist every 2 weeks for up to 3-4 months until the verruca is gone, or for a maximum of 6 treatments.
3. Combination therapy with salicylic acid and cryotherapy: applying salicylic acid to the verruca daily between each cryotherapy session.
For younger children:
1. Topical salicylic acid applied daily for up to 12 weeks
2. Silver nitrate applied daily for 6 days
(Cryotherapy is not an option for younger children)
Please feel free to contact the clinic if you have any queries about your verrucae, and we would be more than happy to help.