Warts and verrucae are caused by the same virus. A verruca affects the feet and can be found around the nail area, on toes and under the foot and heel. It will appear rough and may have black specks in it which is caused by bleeding and can have a cauliflower-like appearance. A verruca can grow to half an inch in diameter and may spread into a cluster of small warts.
The human papiloma virus is the culprit and is very contagious, but can only be caught by direct contact.
They are harmless but can become painful if they appear over pressure pints and they can become sore after walking. If they appear on the top of the foot they will form a dome shape (just like a wart) and will not be painful.
Anyone can get a verruca but children seem to be more susecptible. They will eventually become immune to them once the body has overcome the infection and they will rarely contract another verruca.
You should only consider treating the verruca when it becomes painful or is spreading. This is because the body will eventually fight the infection itself and the verruca will disappear. In fact treatment can be more painful that the verruca itself ! However, if the infection is present in an adult, it may be there for years before it goes.
There are various methods of treatment but you must be aware that it is rarely a "one off" treatment. Moreover, you should expect to have treatment over a course of weeks or months with visits needed once a week.
You can successfully treat the verruca with home treatments such as Bazuka or Glutarol but you MUST perservere with it. You need to apply the mediaction daily and file down the verruca to remove the dead skin.
60% salicylic acid is applied to the affected area and left for several days. It has to be kept dry and the pad in place until the follow up visit. The area may sting but should not be too uncomfortable. After each treatment, the dead skin is removed and more acid applied. You will not be able to go swimming or bath the foot whilst the pad is in place. Children often pick at the pad and cause burns to the fingers so parents need to be advised to monitor the treatment.
Liquid nitrogen or nitrous oxide gas is used to freeze the verruca. It is done every few eeks and can cause blistering around the area. The one advantage with this treatment is that no pad needs to be applied so the foot can be bathed and swimming is allowed. The treatment feels like a balll point pen being pressed into the skin and a slight stinging may be felt.
An electrical probe is used to burn the verruca. It i scarried out under an aneathetic and is usually the last resort in treatment as scar tissue may form afterwards which is permanent.
Low level lasers are used to destroy the virus. This surgery has had great success with this treatment when combined with a home remedy such as Glutarol. It is a painless treatment and needs to be carried out weekly over a month or two.
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