Verruca (Plantar Warts)

By | April 13, 2016

Verrucas are warts that usually develop on the soles of the feet.  They are harmless, though annoying lumps which need the cells of the outer layer of skin (epidermis) to live in. They are non-cancerous and tend to affect children and teenagers more than adults.

verucaWarts are caused by an infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV) which causes an excess amount of keratin, a hard protein, to develop in the top skin layer (epidermis). The extra keratin produces the rough, hard texture of a wart.

A verruca is usually slightly raised and circular in shape and has a thickened rim of surrounding skin. You can get little clusters of verrucas and you may see little black dots which are blood capillaries under the surface of the skin.

They are a contagious virus (HPV, The Human Papilloma Virus)  and are associated with public areas and specifically swimming pools or warm moist environments where the virus invades the foot through small cuts or abrasions.

Treating a verruca:

A verruca is very difficult to treat successfully and quickly.  If you have more than one verruca and one is treated successfully quite often the remaining verrucas  will go of their own accord.

The verrucae need to be killed by your own immune system. They hide within your cells, divide and replicate within your own cells and it is when they transfer from one cell to another that they become known to the body. Apart from that, your body doesn’t know that they are there, so the treatment is all about getting the immune system to “wake up and activate” in order for healing to occur.

Treatment options vary, so it is best to be seen by a professional to be assessed and treated accordingly or referred on.