Podiatry

Warts

Warts

Warts are a tumour or growth of the skin, called a verruca. They can appear anywhere on the body and generally cause no problems or pain. Sometimes verruca in highly visible areas, such as on the hands, can cause embarrassment. Verruca that emerge on the sole (plantar) of the foot can cause severe pain due to our body weight. Verruca are caused by a viral infection in which there are 70 subtypes. They are very common in childhood and spread easily when a wart is scratched and viral particles spread to another area of the skin. A verrucas appearance has a typical warty appearance and generally displays a dark spot because it contains blood vessels. When they grow on the plantar area of the foot, they grow inwards either singularly or grouped together in clusters called mosaic verruca. About half of children infected with warts clear within 6six months, whereas in adults they tend to be more persistent.

Treatment Options

In many cases, no treatment may be required as verruca’s often naturally clear away. However plantar warts, can become very painful and treatment may be necessary. Chemical treatment includes painting the wart with an acidic compound that requires regular application over a 12 week period for the wart to resolve or reduce in size. This method even if it does’t remove the wart can reduce its size. There are stronger compounds that can be applied; however as with all acids protection of the surrounding skin area is critical for obvious reasons. Chemicals can also make the skin sore in which case treatment using this method must cease. Warts can be frozen at regular intervals, which can be uncomfortable for a few minutes and can also result in blistering for several days. Freezing treatment can have a 70% success rate after three to four months. If a hard freeze is used, it can cause a permanent white mark or scar. Dry needling of warts is performed regularly now and is growing in popularity as it generally involves a single procedure, which is reviewed in the following three months. Some clinics offer a second treatment free of any charge if the verruca is still present, or hasn’t reduced in size. Using a local anaesthetic to make the procedure comfortable, very shallow punctures of the wart are performed which allows the body’s own immune system to attack the virus of the wart. Other treatment options include having surgery to remove the warts, laser, and topical creams. When you are considering treating verrucas, you must talk to a health professional as all treatments have real risks and these must be taken into consideration. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail or come in to see to us at Northern Arena