A verruca (also known as a plantar wart) is a wart which appears on the sole of the foot. They are the same as warts on any other body part and are caused by a virus, known as Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
Symptoms of a Verruca
- A small flat wart on the sole of the foot.
- Not usually painful although may be tender when pressed, especially from the sides.
- The verruca may feel like a small stone under the foot.
Verrucas vary in size from a 1mm to over a centimeter and may vary in shape too. The surface of the verruca is usually covered with small black dots (blood vessels) and it is usually surrounded by hard skin.
Warts and verrucas are very common and nothing to worry about, although should be treated as they are mildly contagious. They are only passed on via direct skin to skin contact and can be passed to other people or to other areas of your body (although this is more common when warts appear on the fingers). There is a higher risk of passing a verruca on if the skin is damaged or wet. Swimming pools are common infection area for verrucas.
To avoid passing on a verruca, make sure it is covered when you go swimming (either buy a waterproof plaster, or special verruca sock), wear flip flops when walking barefoot and in the shower and don't share towels.
- There is no real need to treat a verruca unless it is causing problems or is uncomfortable to walk on.
- Most verrucas will go away on their own within 2 years.
- Treatments may clear a verruca sooner.
- Treatments include:
- Salicylic acid creams which should be applied daily for several weeks.
- Salicylic acid plasters which are used to cover the verruca.
- Freezing treatments which are performed by a doctor or nurse - several treatments are required.
- Covering the verruca with strong adhesive tape (e.g. duct tape)