A verruca is a wart that develops on your foot and is caused by the human papilloma virus. You can have a single verruca, or you can develop multiple verrucae that are spaced sporadically or in clusters. The virus that causes verrucae is highly contagious, so it's important to keep the affected foot covered when walking in communal areas or visiting a swimming pool. Anyone can develop verrucae, but children, the elderly and those with a compromised immune system are at greater risk.
Although verrucae pose no danger to your health, they can be painful when walking, and some people feel embarrassed about having them and seek to have them removed. There are several treatment options available for verrucae, and the right treatment for you will depend on the number and size of verrucae you have and whether you have any underlying health conditions that can impact the health of your feet, such as diabetes. Here's an overview of the treatment options available.
Salicylic acid can be prescribed for use at home and needs to be applied daily to the verrucae. This treatment works by breaking down tissue a layer at a time until the core, which is the verruca's blood supply, is dissolved. This treatment can be slow, but it can be a good, low-cost option for those with just one or two areas to treat and no underlying health issues.
Cryotherapy is carried out at your podiatrist's office and involves the use of liquid nitrogen to freeze the verruca and surrounding tissue. This prevents blood from reaching the verruca, so it dies off and causes the dead tissue to come away from your foot. A small verruca may only need a single treatment, but a larger one may need several cryotherapy sessions before the core is destroyed. Cryotherapy is typically very effective, but it can be painful. Your podiatrist may numb the treatment area before applying the liquid nitrogen to reduce the burning sensation some patients experience during treatment.
Electrosurgery And Curettage
Electrosurgery and curettage is an ideal treatment approach for stubborn verrucae. A needle is inserted into the verruca and an electrical charge is passed through the needle to burn the verruca tissue until it dies. A scalpel is then used to cut the verruca tissue out of your foot. This treatment is done under a local anaesthetic and can leave a small scar, but it's not particularly painful, so you can be back on your feet the same day.
If you have a verruca you'd like removed, schedule an appointment with your podiatrist. They will assess the overall health of your feet and recommend a treatment plan based on your individual requirements.