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Verrucas, also referred to as plantar warts are warts on the sole of the foot. Continue reading for more information about these warts and how you can treat them...

What is a verruca?

Verrucas are warts on the sole of the foot, commonly referred to as ‘plantar warts’. Verrucas range in size from 1mm to over 1cm. They usually grow deep into the skin, and appear as areas of flat, thicker skin with a harder edge around a softer centre. They have a rough surface and are surrounded by a raised edge. On closer examination, small black spots may be seen in the verruca. These are not the roots of the wart but rather bleeding in the verruca as a result of standing and walking on it.

Why do I have a verruca?

Verrucas are caused by a strain of the human papillomavirus (HPV) which results in a small black spot on the bottom of the foot. This usually appears on the ball of the foot as this takes most of the pressure. Due to their placement on the body, verrucas can cause pain or discomfort when you walk or stand for a long period of time.

Plantar warts are caught through contact with infected skin – such as from the floors of public locker rooms, shower cubicles and the areas around swimming pools. The virus is not highly contagious, and it is unclear why some people develop plantar warts while others do not. Moistness and maceration of the skin on the feet likely makes it easier for the virus to infect your feet.

It’s advisable to always wear footwear in places like communal showers and sports changing rooms.

Should I seek medical advice?

Most plantar warts can be managed with advice from your pharmacist and with use of over-the counter topical treatments. You may require a treatment that needs to be prescribed by your GP. You should see your GP if:

  • The lesion is bleeding, painful or changes in appearance or interferes with your daily activities
  • You are not sure of the diagnosis
  • You have treated the wart but it persists and starts spreading
  • You have diabetes or poor sensation on your feet
  • You have a weakened immune system because of immune-suppressing medications, AIDS or immune-deficiency disorder

While verrucas tend to go away by themselves in time, however this can take a long time, and in the meantime you risk spreading them to others or even getting more yourself. The longer verrucas are left untreated, the more difficult they are to remove.

At Mayberry Pharmacy we offer a variety of products to treat your verrucas and warts, but it is important to speak with a pharmacist to ensure you are using the best treatment method for you.

Next steps…

If you are suffering from verrucas, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by booking a free telephone consultation with one of our experienced pharmacists for advice and support.

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