What Happens During Verruca Treatment?
Do you think you have a verruca? Here’s some information on identifying verrucas, verruca removal, and what to expect during a verruca treatment.
To book a verruca removal appointment with our qualified podiatrists at City Foot Health, get in touch with our team.
What are verrucas?
Plantar Verruca (Verruca pedis), are contagious skin lesions that are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Though warts can occur anywhere on the body, verrucas affect the bottom of the feet.
While verrucas are common and most people experience them at some point in their life, they can be annoying, unsightly, and uncomfortable.
Verrucas often disappear on their own, but this can take months and sometimes years. If you’d like to speed up the process, verruca removal treatments deliver good results.
How do you know if you have a verruca?
Verrucas are firm, rough growths on the bottom of your feet that often appear with tiny black dots under the hard skin (due to blood vessels). They are sometimes described as having a circular cauliflower shape and can be sore to walk on. Verrucas are generally between 1mm and 1cm in size.
Verruca lesions themselves are often only limited to the upper layers of the skin. However, with persistent infection, they can infiltrate deeper layers of the skin resulting in an increased level of discomfort.
What causes verrucas?
Are you often barefoot in spaces used by other people? Verrucas spread easily via damp and unsanitary surfaces such as gym floors, swimming pools, or other shared room floors. Once exposed, the virus can enter the skin through small cracks.
Your immune system also plays a significant role in preventing the onset of verruca infections. Patients often develop warts after moments of stress or illness due to their immune system being suppressed.
Children are more susceptible to developing warts due to their activity levels and tendency to be barefoot in environments that harbour the virus.
Common verruca removal treatments
If you’re researching how to get rid of verrucas, you’ll notice a few different options. At City Foot Health, we offer three different verruca treatments:
Cryotherapy is a safe, straightforward procedure where we destroy the skin around the verruca by freezing it using a very cold gas (liquid nitrogen or carbon dioxide).
The idea is to provide a short, sharp shock to your skin cells, which destroys the verruca tissue. Cryotherapy verruca treatment causes minimum disruption to our patients. It’s worth noting, however, that it can take several treatments to fully eradicate the verruca.
Freezing is not a recommended treatment for children as it can be slightly painful.
Strong acid-based treatments – salicylic acid and verrucas
Acid-based treatments, which are much stronger than the over-the-counter remedies you can buy, are used to destroy the infected skin. We use salicylic acid on verrucas to remove the outer dead layer of skin and trigger the immune system to clear the virus.
Again, this treatment usually requires several sessions to fully destroy the verruca. The procedure is largely painless, although some people may feel a little discomfort in the treated verruca once the acid starts to work.
Verruca needling is a minor surgical procedure that’s carried out under local anaesthetic. It involves puncturing the verruca multiple times using a fine, sterile needle. This brings the virus into direct contact with the fatty tissue beneath the skin, which is rich in immune regulators thus allowing the body’s immune system to recognise and destroy the virus.
The advantage of verruca needling is that it usually only requires a single treatment, although we see you for post-treatment check-ups.
How can you reduce the risk of getting a verruca?
It should be noted that there is an element of chance in contracting warts and verrucas. It is near impossible to avoid exposure to the virus entirely. Nevertheless, there are many precautions that can reduce your risk of contracting and spreading the virus.
Here are some tips that will reduce your risk of getting and spreading verrucas:
- Minimise the time spent barefoot on damp floors, including gyms, communal showers and floors — the virus is often present on these surfaces.
- Avoid wearing other people’s footwear if they have previously had or currently have plantar warts — this is a moist environment that could harbour the virus.
- Cover existing warts with waterproof plasters so that they do not contact floor surfaces — this will reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
- Wear specialist socks during swimming activities — this protects you and others.
- Avoid touching your verrucas or the warts of other people with your hands — this is an easy way to transfer the virus from one area of skin to another.
- Avoid sharing towels, razors or socks with other people — these tend to come into contact with verrucas.
- Keep your feet as dry as possible — as previously mentioned, warts prefer moist environments.
- Avoid wearing shoes or walking on surfaces that irritate the soles of your feet as injured skin is more prone to infection — you should also cover broken skin and cuts with a plaster during healing.
Professional verruca removal at City Foot Health
To enquire about our verruca removal treatments, contact our friendly team today. Our podiatrists will be able to answer any further questions about your verruca, discuss the best verruca treatment option for you, and arrange a speedy appointment for removal.
Ready to book an appointment? Use our online portal.