Verruca / Plantar Warts

What causes verruca and why are they so persistent?

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What are Verrucas (Plantar Warts)?

Verrucas, also known as plantar warts, are a localised thickening of the skin on the soles of the feet, which occur when the skin becomes infected by the human papilloma virus.

There are many strains of this virus, and some of them can cause warts on different parts of the body. The infection causes the skin to over-grow and thicken, which causes plantar warts. They can vary in size, starting small but often growing to be quite an annoying issue. They will usually be identified by their visual appearance, which often includes characteristic small black dots, which helps to distinguish them from corns.

The infection that causes plantar warts can be picked up from contact with infected skin cells. This is why you might have heard that you can get verrucas from the swimming pool. The virus can be picked up where the skin is more delicate or damaged through small or invisible cuts or abrasions.

Problems Caused By Verrucas

Some people say that plantar warts don’t cause any problems, but they are a stubborn problem and patients can find them very difficult in daily life

  • They might feel uncomfortable when walking or running
  • They can feel rough and annoying, catching on socks or bedding
  • They are contagious and can spread easily, so you may end up with several verrucas at once
  • As they are easily spread, they can be passed on through shared showers, bathroom floors, towels etc; so other members of the family can catch them too
  • They can be unsightly, causing embarrassment for the patient

Verruca Treatments

Some plantar warts will clear up on their own if they are left to heal, but this isn’t always the case. They can be quite persistent and if left untreated, can grow and last for years.

Verrucas can be treated with some treatment options that will help them to clear up.

  • Topical treatments from the chemist, such as salicylic acid gels and paints
  • Freezing the warts, either through DIY kits from the chemist or stronger, medical-grade cryotherapy treatments at the doctor, dermatologist, podiatrist or skin clinic
  • Laser surgery or minor day case excision surgery for deep and hard plantar warts


Plantar Warts Consultation

If you think that you have a verruca or several of them, you can discuss your treatment options with one of our doctors. They can help to diagnose plantar warts and determine the best treatment.

Cosmedics Skin Clinics offer medical-grade cryotherapy (freezing), laser surgery and minor surgery at our clinics in London and Bristol.

Please call us today and we will be happy to book a no-obligation appointment. Our experts will be happy to assess your feet and discuss options.

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