How To Get Rid of Foot Verrucas (Adults and Children)
What is a Verruca and What Does it Look Like?
A verruca, caused by a viral infection, is sometimes known as a plantar wart, and can appear as a small growth on the foot. A verruca may develop as a single unit or in clusters, often with small black dots within.
What to do if you think you have a verruca?
Do not self-diagnose! Often people get mixed up between verrucas and corns. The course of treatment for a corn is very different from that of a verruca, and you may do more harm than good! Therefore, the first thing you should do is see a qualified Podiatrist.
Here at Margaret Dabbs London our HCPC-registered podiatrists are on hand to assess, diagnose and treat verrucas, whatever size or shape they may be! Should the clinician diagnose a verruca, we then discuss and agree a plan of action. This will include a specific treatment plan, in addition to homecare and product advice, centered around your individual needs.
How do verrucas spread?
Verrucas are contagious and can spread. The transmission can be largely accelerated by damp conditions or contact with contaminated surfaces (especially if the skin is damaged or broken). Therefore, areas such as shared shower cubicles, public changing rooms or swimming pools place us at higher risk from contracting them.
A verruca is also a virus that takes advantage of compromised immunity; should our immune system become weak through stress, lack of sleep, unhealthy diet, or other health conditions, verrucas seize this opportunity to invade or spread.
What Are the Symptoms of Foot Verrucas?
Verrucas can present as a small growth or cluster of growths on the feet. They can also be very vascular and have contusions within, which give the appearance of “black spots”. They may also bleed easily. They don’t usually hurt unless they are on a weight-bearing area. However, should you knock the area or apply sideways pressure you may experience a stinging pain.
Top Tips on Treating and Preventing Foot Verrucas*
It can be argued that verrucas in young, healthy individuals can heal by themselves, but often they are stubborn and difficult to eradicate. Therefore, a holistic approach is needed, which seeks to boost the immune system as well as treating the verruca itself. Please see below the following tips which may be helpful in treating and preventing the emergence of verrucas.
- Avoid wives’ tales such as using cider vinegar or nail polish. These methods are poorly supported by research and are not very likely to work.
- Seek advice and treatment at Margaret Dabbs London from a HCPC registered podiatrist. We can offer a selection of verruca treatments dependent upon your individual needs. These treatments may include the use of silver nitrate, acid, cryotherapy, and even Laser! Please contact any of our clinics for details.
- Always be careful with over the counter remedies, you may use them incorrectly and create skin damage or even scar tissue.
- Duct tape method- applying duct tape over the verruca can starve it of oxygen so that it dies. This method should not be used if the skin is overly macerated, irritated or infected. My top tip for this application, is to seek step by step guidance from the British Association of Dermatology (online).
- Always wear flip flops in communal shower areas.
- Never use shared towels.
- Wash socks on a 60-degree wash.
- Never pick verrucas – you may spread them.
*Please note: Should you suffer any underlying health conditions, especially conditions that affect the immune system, you should always seek professional help first from a HCPC-registered podiatrist.
Products to Help Treat Verrucas
Used as part of a regular foot care routine, the below products may help to treat and prevent verrucas:
Foot Hygiene Cream
An award winning product with anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. It can also help to maintain skin viability by healing any cracks or breakages, preventing a porthole of entry for a verruca virus to enter the skin. In addition, ingredients such as salicylic acid can also soften and exfoliate the verruca, making it more comfortable, especially on those weight-bearing areas. Use twice daily for best results.
Margaret Dabbs Professional Foot File
This foot file contains crystal technology to ensure smooth and long lasting results. It also comes with replacement pads. Therefore, it can be used to reduce the build-up of skin on top of the verruca, which may be uncomfortable if in a pressure area. The replacement pads can be adhered to one side of the file for verruca use only, and you can change the pad each time, to prevent the virus spreading. Use once weekly for best results.
Pure Foot Soak
This foot soak contains turmeric extract which works as anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial agent. It can also be used as an indulgent foot or bath soak for severely dehydrated and cracked skin. Overall, it helps to maintain skin viability, preventing the verruca from entering the skin. Use once daily after a hard day’s graft!3-n-1 Shoe Freshener
This shoe freshener helps to eliminates bacterial and fungal spores from within the footwear, preventing conditions such as athlete’s foot. When athlete’s foot occurs, the skin often cracks, which increases the risk of contracting verrucas. Use daily, by placing in footwear overnight or whilst sleeping.
Shoe and Insole Spray
The shoe and insole spray contains tea tree oil, and lemon myrtle, which work as antibacterial and antifungal agents. Such agents also prevent the occurrence of athlete’s foot, furthermore decreasing the likelihood of developing verrucas. Use once daily for best results.