If you have any painful or reoccurring verrucae, our expert podiatrists at City Foot Health will offer you a range of treatments to deal with the problem.
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What are verrucae?
Plantar Verruca (Verruca pedis), are contagious skin lesions that are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). The lesions themselves are often only limited to the upper layers of the skin but with persistent infection can infiltrate deeper layers of the skin resulting in an increased level of discomfort. While warts can occur on many regions of the body, the ones that occur on the soles of the feet can become painful because of the actions of standing and walking.
What causes verrucas?
While the viral characteristic of warts means they can be picked up from virtually anywhere, the most common places that harbour the offending virus are damp and unsanitary places such as gym floors, swimming pools, or room floors. The virus can enter the skin through small cracks in the skin which are exposed to the virus. A person’s immune system also plays a very big role in preventing the onset of verruca infections. It is not uncommon to find that after moments of stress or illness patients have developed warts 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.
Verruca treatment in London
At City Foot Health in London, we offer three different types of verruca treatments/removal:
Cryotherapy is a very safe process where we destroy the skin around the verruca by freezing it using a very cold gas. The idea is to provide a short, sharp shock to your skin cells, which destroys the verruca tissue. This is a very straightforward procedure causing minimum disruption to our patients, although it can take several treatments before the verruca is finally eradicated.
STRONG ACID-BASED TREATMENTS
Acid-based treatments, which are much stronger than the over-the-counter remedies you can buy, are used to destroy the infected skin. Again, this treatment usually requires several sessions before the verruca is fully destroyed. 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.
What is the difference between wart and verruca?
Warts and Verrucas are caused by a strain of the human papilloma virus, once this virus is in your system it will stay forever, but may remain dormant. The key difference between a wart and a verrucae is its location – verrucae valgaris (the common wart) is usually found on the top of toes and on hands and fingers whereas verrucae pedis are found on the sole of the foot only. This virus is often picked up by wearing bare feet around swimming pools, public showers, on the school field, and even just by sharing a shower at home with someone else who has one.
What Can Be Done To Reduce The Risk Of Contracting Or Spreading Verrucas?
Whilst there is an element of chance in contracting warts, there are a number of methods to reduce your risk of becoming exposed to or spreading the virus. Some steps include:
- Minimising the time spent barefoot on damp floors, including gyms, communal showers and floors.
- Avoid wearing the footwear of people who have previously had or currently have plantar warts.
- Cover existing warts with waterproof plaster so that it does not contact floor surfaces.
- Wearing specialist socks during swimming activities.
- Avoid touching yourself or the warts of other people with your hands
- Avoid sharing towels, razors or socks with other people.
- Keep your feet as dry as possible as 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.
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