Warts and verrucae are skin infection caused by a virus. They can appear anywhere on the skin. The feet and hands are the most common sites. Warts on the feet are called verrucae or plantar warts. Most warts are harmless even though they may be painful.
Cause of Verrucae
One of the most common foot problems is verrucae, caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). The foot variety-verruca pedis or plantar warts can be most difficult to treat. Children, especially teenagers tend to be susceptible to verrucae.
The wart virus is highly contagious and is most likely to be caught by walking barefoot in damp conditions such as swimming pools, showers or gyms etc.
Verrucae can be single or multiple. The multiple types are usually ‘mosaic’ and are in clusters. There can be more than one ‘single’ but they remain individual. Often small black blood vessels are visible. The surface may look like a cauliflower and vary in vessels are visible. The colour can be grey, yellow, red or brown.
Verrucae can be easily confused with corns and hard skin, which are both the result of excess pressure to an area, but verrucae are more painful when pinched as opposed to pressure.
Children do not usually develop corns, so therefore small areas which can appear rough and crumbly are usually verrucae. In Adults, excess hard skin can cover verrucae in which corns can develop, thus masking the verrucae. This is often common on the outside of the little toe or at the ends of toes. These lesions usually hurt more when pinched, thus confirming the involvement of a verrucae.
Prevention of Verrucae
To help prevent verrucae by, washing feet regularly and dry thoroughly, by taking sensible precaution in communal changing areas, such as not walking barefoot, and by using flip flops.
Treatment of Verrucae
The general rule is that if the verrucae does not hurt treatment is not necessary. The body’s own immunity can destroy the virus. Should they become painful and starts to spread, treatment will be necessary. Many people are also embarrassed by the look of a verrucae. They seek treatment for cosmetic reason. Self treatment can often cause a verrucae to spread, so always seek advice. It takes an expert to destroy the wart tissue without also destroying surrounding healthy tissue.
If you are pregnant, diabetic, have circulation problems, take steroids, water tables or aspirin or any other long term medication, always seek professional advice before using home treatments.
A podiatrist is able to give information regarding the treatment of verrucae.