Verrucae are a common complaint amongst children and adults. A verruca is a small skin lesion which is commonly found on the bottom surface of the foot. The lesion is usually approximately 1cm in diameter but can be larger. Sometimes a single wart may have many small satellite warts surrounding it.
- Their appearance is similar to corns but verrucaes are more superficial in depth.
- The surface of the verrucae is covered with black dots that are actually small blood vessels that feed the verrucae.
- The color is usually paler then the usual tone of the skin.
- Verrucae are usually surrounding by hard skin and will not be well circumscribed.
- Patients often complain that a verruca feels like a small stone under the foot.
- They are usually asymptomatic (not painful) unless they are squeezed from the sides or have direct force applied to them.
- They are inclined to spread to other areas of the foot and possibly to the hands.
- All verrucaes are caused by the human papilloma virus.
- If there is a break, scratch or a thorn in the skin, this will give the virus a opportunity to enter the skin.
- Verrucae are commonly contracted in communal places such as swimming pools, showers and changing areas. This is why children are more at risk of contracting verrucae in school changing rooms and swimming pools.
- Excessive moisture or excessive dryness of the skin can lead to small crack in the skin which allows the virus to enter the skin.
- Over the counter products containing salicylic acid may be of benefit in treating the verrucae. However, it is important that application of these products is confined to the affected area only as it may lead to the damage of healthy skin. Diabetics or patients with a poor circulation should not use these products.
- Try to keep the wound covered at all times as it will prevent the wart from growing rapidly and spreading to other areas.