By Dr_Trisha-Macnair Published 01/27/2016 13:30:00 | Views: 500

What are verrucas?

Verrucas are warts that appear on the sole of the foot and are caused by an infection with one of the strains of the human papilloma virus.

They appear as hard growths on the surface of the skin and can spread quickly to other areas of the sole of the foot. The weight of the body can flatten the verruca and force it into the skin. When this happens the verruca can be painful and stops people from walking properly.

Who gets them?

Most people will get a verruca at some point in their lives. Children and teenagers are more likely to get them than adults are. They're usually caught from public changing rooms and swimming pools. Despite what people may say, getting verrucas has nothing to do with poor hygiene.

It's easy to distinguish a verruca from a corn or hard skin because the verruca has tiny black dots visible in it.


Eventually verrucas will disappear on their own without treatment. However, this can take years so most people choose to have them treated.

Don't try to dig or cut them out.

A wart paint or gel containing salicylic acid, used every day, will help remove the hardened skin. Soak the verruca in water for a few minutes then dry it before applying treatment.

Freezing a verruca with liquid nitrogen speeds up the process by partly killing the virus and partly destroying the skin that the virus lives in. The freezing feels cold during treatment, like putting an ice cube on your skin, and sometimes feels a little sore afterwards. Occasionally the skin blisters but this is usually nothing to worry about. For small verrucas, a single freezing treatment is often enough, while larger verrucas often need repeated treatments every two to four weeks. Your GP may offer this treatment in their surgery.

Hardened skin can be safely removed using a pumice stone or emery board - do not to be too vigorous.

Tea-tree oil is well known for treating verrucas and warts on other parts the body. A more natural and effective treatment is to apply the inside of a banana skin to the verruca. Rub the inner skin against the verruca for a few minutes two or three times a day or cut out a piece of banana skin large enough to cover the verruca, tape it over the verruca to hold it in place, and leave it overnight.

Having verrucas doesn't mean you can't go swimming. Provided you wear verruca socks (available in different sizes from the pharmacist) you will not pass verrucas to other people and you won't get any more either.

By Dr_Trisha-Macnair 01/27/2016 13:30:00

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