Verrucae Treatment

Verrucae are growths of skin caused by the infection of the human papilloma virus (HPV).  Though common in children, many adults suffer from verrucaes every year.  Though alone they are not harmful or damaging to the body, their growth and spread can cause significant discomfort for patients, even affecting peoples walking gait and sporting activities if they become larger on weight bearing areas.  If they don’t hurt, they may cause patient distress because of their appearance.  They commonly affect the soles of the feet and a recent study found approximately 10% of the UK have one or more verrucae at any given time. So rest assured you are not alone!

The virus works by entering by direct contact into any compromised skin areas (such as cracks caused by dry skin and cuts).  They may not be visible for several weeks or months as they undertake an “incubation period”.   Due to constant loading through the feet, the verrucae virus is forced further into the skin which then causes skin cells to grow quickly, creating a hard circular lump.  They can spread to other areas of the feet (Satellite verrucae), multiply in one area (Verrucae Cluster) or form around many sites (Mosaic verrucae).

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Traditionally the thought process has been to not treat verrucaes as they will “go on their own”, but for many this simply is not the case. Every year more people are seeking care and treatment. The longer a verrucae has been left, or has been treated unsuccessfully by over the counter treatments, it can become more resistant to treatments and can take longer to treat.

They have certain features to look out for:

  • Cauliflower appearance
  • Black dots (papillae)
  • Painful when pinched not on direct pressure

To get rid of them we need to stimulate the bodies own immune system to attack the virus, while breaking down any viral tissue in the skin.  There are many ways in which to do this.  At Footpro podiatry we will issue a thorough assessment of any suspected sites, discuss in detail with you suitable treatment options and form an effective treatment programme.  We also offer needling to verrucae on digits of the feet.  Along with the treatment programme dealing with the problem site, we will also offer guidance on how to stop yourself from ever getting another verrucae again.

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