Verrucas are known as warts on the feet and are infectious lumps normally with black dots. They are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). They are commonly seen in children as well as adults.
Verrucas may appear in various shapes and sizes. For example, the size of a verruca can range from 1mm to over 1cm in diameter.
Verrucas are often painful due to their location. As they commonly occur on pressure areas of the feet like the heels or the balls of the feet, they may hurt. Most patients tend to avoid putting weight over the verrucae’s and end up with an altered posture and gait. This leads to pain in the legs and the back as well.
Verrucas are round or oval in shape and are firm and raised or flattened. Their surface is irregular and typically like a cauliflower, so if scratched may bleed. The skin around the Verruca is white in colour and there is often a black dot in the centre that is actually the blood vessel lying underneath.
The virus thrives in moist and warm conditions, which is why they are easily caught in swimming pools or changing rooms. Verrucas do not usually hurt but if they grow on weight bearing sites of the feet, they can be tender and painful when standing or walking. Verrucas may spread due to scratching and biting to other parts of the body like fingers, nails, mouth, face etc. This occurs due to breakage of the warts and release and spread of the virus to other areas. Swimming pools used by children can lead to a higher incidence rate, particularly when used frequently.
The length of time it takes for a wart to disappear will vary from person to person. They tend to last longer in older children and adults. In adults and people with a weakened immune system, warts are less likely to clear up on their own or respond well to treatment. There are a number of treatments available for verrucae’s including Cryotherapy.
Cryotherapy involves freezing a verruca using a cold substance called Liquid Nitrogen. This is a very cold substance as the freezing and thawing assists in destroying the verruca tissue. Not all Shuropody practices carry out Cryotherapy, so please ask for details.
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