Verrucae

Verrucaes are a common complaint amongst children. A verrucae 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, this is called a Mosaic Wart.

APPEARANCE

  • They 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.
  • Verrucaes are usually surrounding by hard skin and will not be well circumscribed.

Verrucae

Above is a picture of a single verrucae.

SYMPTOMS

  • Patients often complain that a verrucae 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.

CAUSE

  • All verrucae are caused by the human papilloma virus. This is common in all environments but does not readily attack the skin.
  • 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 verrucaes 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.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • 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.
  • Treatment can be a very slow and frustrating process.
  • Try to keep the wound covered at all times as it will prevent the wart from growing rapidly and spreading to other areas.
  • You can also remove the surrounding callus with a pumice stone.
  • It is recommended that you seek advice from a chiropodist.

WHAT WILL THE CHIROPODIST DO FOR IT

  • The chiropodist may use a variety of different medications to treat the wart.
  • The wart can also be treated with cryosurgery which involves freezing the tissues at below -60C.
  • Recommend home treatment plans for you to carry out.
  • The application of pads to re-distribute pressure away from the verrucae.
  • Verrucae are stubborn lesions and may take some time to reside depending on the patient and the severity of the condition. Unfortunately there is a 15% reoccurrence rate.
  • Laser therapy can also be used effectively to treat verrucaes.

WHAT RESSEMBLES A VERRUCAE

  • A corn
  • A foreign body (i.e. a sliver of glass which has become inflamed).

 


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