Verrucae or plantar warts are a common, infectious and sometimes painful problem. It is estimated that 4-5% of children and adolescents have warts or verrucas. They are caused by infection via the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Most verrucae will spontaneously regress within approximately 2 years. They are commonly found in children, young adults and those with a compromised immune system.
Are warts contagious?
Yes, however the risk of passing them on to others is low. Skin to skin contact is required and you are more at risk is the skin is damaged, broken or macerated; for example in swimming pools and changing rooms.
Verrucas can be passed to other parts of the body via scratching and picking. To reduce the chance of passing on verrucae:
• Do not share towels
• When swimming cover your verruca with a waterproof plaster
• Wear flip-flops in communal shower rooms
• Do not share socks or shoes
What treatments are available?
Your Podiatrist will undertake a full assessment to ensure that you are suitable for treatment. The aim of any verruca treatment is to stimulate the immune system to fight the infection.
At Walk there are four treatments we use to treat verrucas - which one we advise will be based on your previous management.
Debridement and filing - removal of excess verruca tissue and stimulation of the immune system. This is the easiest method and may cause a small amount of bleeding.
Silver Nitrate - application of a caustic after debridement of the verruca. THis can cause local staining of the skin and requires regular visits to the podiatrist.
Cryotherapy - following debridement of the verruca, liquid nitrogen is applied to the area twice, with a period of thawing in between. Up to six treatments are provided; however, the verrucas may resolve in less time that this. This approach can be painful.
Autoimmunisation/needling - local anaesthetic is used to numb the area being treated. Then the area is cleaned and sterile needle is used to puncture the verrucas multiple times. The initial injection is often painful; however, with this approach a single treatment is often required and only one area needs to be treated.
If you have any questions about verrucas or any foot and leg problems then please get in touch.
Call us on 01562 515661 or 077 666 888 29 to book your appointment.