Any unusual lumps or bumps appearing anywhere on your body should always be checked out by a professional! For any that develop on your feet, a Podiatrist is the best person to check these. Most of the unusual lumps that form on feet are verruca’s. They are a common foot issue that will affect most people at some point during their lifetime. We’ve got the lowdown on what verruca’s are and how to treat them.
What are verruca’s?
Verrucae are benign lesions that usually appear on the soles of your feet. You may hear them referred to as plantar warts. They are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) that also causes common warts and cold sores. The virus causes an excess amount of keratin production in the top layer of the skin (epidermis). This extra keratin production then forms the rough, hard texture of a verruca.
What do verruca’s look like?
Verrucae appear as fairly flat, thick areas of the skin on the soles of the feet and toes. They can be a few millimetres to several centimetres in size. You may notice tiny black dots within the growth, although these can be difficult to spot with the naked eye. It’s possible to have a single verruca or multiple verrucae across your feet. Some people will also develop what is known as mosaic verrucae. This is where the growths develop in tightly-packed clusters on the bottom of your feet. Mosaic verrucae can be harder to treat than smaller varieties.
Some types of verruca’s can be quite painful! Particularly if they are on an area of your foot that bears a significant amount of your weight – i.e your heels.
How are verruca’s spread?
Verruca’s are transmitted through contact with infected skin cells. For this reason, it’s important not to walk around barefoot share shoes or towels with others. Although Verruca’s aren’t considered highly contagious, if you come into contact with infected skin cells, the virus can enter your body through tiny breaks in the surface of the skin. It can then take a few weeks or even a few months for verruca’s to form.
How are verruca’s treated?
In many instances, verruca’s will go away of their own accord provided that they are left alone. This can take some time, approximately 2 years. However, if your verruca is causing you pain, or if you simply want rid of it because of the way that it looks, there may be treatments available that can help.* These include over the counter treatments and professional treatments from our team of podiatrists at La Preme.
La Preme Clinic can help treat your verruca’s!
At your verruca consultation, your Podiatrist will take a full medical history and ask questions about your verruca. They will discuss with you the different treatment options and advise what they feel would be the most effective. The hard skin over the verruca will be reduced to make you more comfortable. At La Preme Clinic, we may suggest one of the following treatment options;
Cryotherapy is the process of freezing the verruca or wart with liquid nitrogen to cause the lesion to shrink and resolve. This treatment is carried out every few weeks and would be recommended for finger warts or small verrucas.
Falknor’s needling is a highly effective treatment for verrucae. This soft tissue therapy works by creating a controlled inflammatory response, targeting and stimulating the immune system. This will encourage the body’s defence system to recognise and destroy the virus.
The process involves puncturing the verruca with an empty sterile needle a number of times. Doing so directly exposes the virus to the fatty tissue beneath the skin. This area is packed with immune regulators that will destroy the virus. This treatment creates a widespread immune response meaning only one verruca needs to be treated to be effective. A local anaesthetic is used during this procedure for your comfort.
This is a fairly new, topical treatment for the destruction of verrucas. It contains three different organic acids – lactic, acetic and oxalic. These are combined with copper and zinc salts and nitric acid to create a ‘nitric zinc complex’. This substance dehydrates the verruca, as well as breaking down and weakens the DNA found in the virus. In destroying the DNA, the virus is unable to survive.
The application of Verrutop is largely painless, although some patients experience a short-term stinging or burning sensation. Six sessions may be required to achieve the best results.
Verruca treatment for children
Please note that we do not offer treatment for verruca’s for children under the age of 10. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, the treatments can cause discomfort which could be distressing for children. Secondly, there may be some scarring which could be problematic for your child as they get older. And finally, letting your child’s body fight the virus itself is a great way for it to create antibodies. These protect against further episodes of verruca’s in the future. Where possible, we would advise no treatment on a child’s verruca. This allows their immune systems to fight the virus naturally.
If you would like more information about verruca’s, or to schedule an appointment with our experienced podiatry team to discuss the health of your feet, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with our Glasgow podiatry clinic on 0141 332 0044.
*Please note, no treatment that is 100% effective and we cannot guarantee your verruca will resolve.