A verrucae is a virus that affects the epidermal layer of our skin. It is known as the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and there are more than 90 types of HPV.
Viruses are microscopic. But, what you can see are the distorted skin cells that the verrucae have invaded. There may be small black dots which are capillaries (tiny blood vessels).
A verrucae may be a single lesion (plantar wart) which on weight bearing areas can be quite deep and covered with hard skin. Or grouped together as multiple or mosaic warts (cutaneous warts) which are generally more superficial.
Verrucae are spread by the transfer of a virally infected cell in a damp environment. So, cover it with a plaster if you are sharing a shower or bathing area.
A verrucae can clear up on its own especially in children, but this is less likely in adults and rarely seen in the immune-suppressed.
You may decide to treat if you are experiencing pain, interference with normal walking/ running, cosmetic embarrassment or to prevent further spreading.
Over the counter treatments can be successful but require you to follow the instructions to the letter and you really need to be persistent.
A podiatrist has access to treatments which are unavailable in the chemist or which you would be unable to do yourself.
The aim of all treatments is to cause a disruption to the epidermis (the outside layer of skin where the virus lives), alert your immune system to the presence of the virus and stimulate an immune response from you.
Sometimes it's difficult to know if 'that thing' on your foot is indeed verrucae.
Don't be embarrassed to book in purely for a diagnosis. This will allow you to choose a treatment option.
You may opt to leave your verrucae alone and it may resolve itself, or you may choose an over the counter treatment from the chemist.
If you choose to have your verrucae treated in clinic we offer the two most successful and well tolerated treatments.
Caustic treatments are applied weekly and can be painless depending on the treatment used. 24hr occlusion is required each time.
Falknor's needling technique is carried out under local anaesthetic and is reviewed after two and four months. Resolution usually occurs at this point.