What is a Verruca (Plantar Wart)?
Verrucae (also known as plantar warts) commonly occur on the soles of the feet or around the toe area and they are a common viral infection in the superficial layer of the skin. They vary in size and number and can occur anywhere on the foot. Often, they can be uncomfortable and painful if they develop on a weight bearing part of the foot.
Classically, they are well defined (circumscribed) and have little black dots which are blood vessels that have been pushed towards the surface.
What Causes Verruca’s?
Warts are caused by infection with a virus known as the human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV causes keratin, a hard protein in the top layer of the skin (the epidermis) to grow too much. They are common on the soles of the feet or toe area and thrive in damp, moist environments like changing room floors and swimming pools.
What are the Treatment Options for Verruca’s?
Often verruca’s will resolve on their own but, if they are spreading or painful, treatment is required. There are many treatment options including topical applications, freezing (cryotherapy), needling or surgical excision. Surgery often utilises an electric current (electrosurgery) to remove the tissue carefully to reduce scarring.
Non-Surgical Treatment Options
There are many treatment options including topical applications, freezing (cryotherapy) and various homeopathic remedies. Mr. Kannegieter can advise on which product is right for you.
Verruca needling – where the verruca is punctured with a small needle to cause bleeding and stimulate the body’s immune system to resolve the problem – is another effective treatment, often working following the first session. Patients can remove the dressing the within 1-3 days and continue as normal.
Surgical Treatment Options
The surgical removal of verruca’s is usually only recommended in circumstances of extreme pain or where daily activities are limited.
If you have a verruca which is causing you discomfort or embarrassment contact Mr. Kannegieter today who would be happy to see you in clinic.