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Warts and Verruca

Warts are small rough lumps on the skin. They are caused by a virus (human papillomavirus) which causes a reaction in the skin. They range in size from 1 mm to over 1 cm. The shape and size of warts all vary. Sometimes several occur in the same area of skin, and sometimes only one or two warts develop.

Verruca are warts that occur on the soles of the feet. They are the same as warts on any other part of the body, however, because the feet are a weight bearing area, they are flattened down.

What are the symptoms of plantar warts?
Some plantar warts are uncomfortable, particularly if they are on a weight bearing area when it may feel like having a stone in your shoe.

How will plantar warts be diagnosed?
This is usually easy based on its appearance, however, sometimes it may be hard to distinguish from a corn.

How can plantar warts be treated?
When considering treatment of plantar warts, the following facts should be taken into account:

  • Warts sometimes go away by themselves and when this happens, no scarring occurs.
  •  Successful treatment of a viral wart does not prevent further warts developing.
  • Some warts can be very stubborn; treatment does not always work and may be quite time-consuming.

 

Treatment varies depending on patient’s age and activities and health condition.

  • Occlusion therapy (Duct tape therapy)
  • Silver nitrate sticks (75%)
  • Salicylic acid treatment, (60% and 70%)
  • Multiple Puncture Technique (Dry Needling)
  • Surgical removal under local anaesthetic

 

What can I do?

If you have a plantar wart:

  • Do not pick at your plantar warts.
  • Never try to cut it out or burn it off yourself.
  • When you pare your wart down, dispose of the dead skin carefully.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry, and change your socks daily.
  • Do not share your shoes or socks with anyone else.
  • When paring or filing down warts, take care not to damage the surrounding skin, as doing so might result in the warts spreading.
  • Special pads to relieve pressure on plantar warts can be bought at a chemist.
  • Do not go barefoot in public places and cover current warts with waterproof plasters or rubber ‘verruca socks’ if you go swimming.
  • If you have children, check their feet periodically for viral warts.