Verrucae are viral warts that occur on the soles of the feet or around toes. They are caused by ‘The Human Papilloma Virus’ which is highly contagious through direct person-to-person contact.
Although they may be unsightly, they are harmless, often clearing in time without treatment.
Callus can form over the top and make the area uncomfortable, however, this can be painlessly removed. Furthermore, using padding to keep pressure from the area can also help.
What do they look like?
Commonly, they appear as a small cauliflower type growth on the sole of the foot with tiny black dots. These are not “roots”, as people frequently think. They are small blood filled capillaries which have been squeezed to the surface due to increased pressure to the area. If pinched, they can be painful. This helps to differentiate them from corns. If you are unsure, seek Podiatry advice.
How to prevent them?
Keep your feet in a healthy condition, especially the skin. Always thoroughly dry your feet after washing – if they are sweaty use surgical spirit. If your skin is dry, try moisturising them. Having good skin integrity reduces the risk of infection.
Wear soft shoes in communal areas where there may be contamination. For example, swimming pools, gyms and communal showers.
Treatments for verrucae can be aggressive and uncomfortable. Since most of the treatments involve damaging the verrucae tissue to stimulate an immune response, care should be taken not to cause such harm that a serious infection develops. Professional advice regarding treatment options should be sought.
If you are worried about verrucae, need advice, a positive diagnosis, or if it’s getting bigger and more painful, make an appointment to see a podiatrist. Additionally, you can seek advice on diabetes, poor circulation or problems with your immune system.
Tina Woodward (Podiatrist)