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VERRUCA & WARTS



What are warts and Verrucae?

Warts are small rough lumps on the skin caused by a virus (human papilloma virus) which causes a reaction in the skin. Warts can occur anywhere on the body but are most commonly found on hands and feet.
A verruca is simply a wart that is on the soles of your feet, though they can also appear around the toes. It may become rough and bumpy with a cauliflower-like appearance and may develop a black spot in the middle, which is caused by bleeding. Verrucae can remain as single lumps or may spread into a cluster of small warts.

Are warts contagious? Yes, but the risk of passing them on to others is low. You need close skin-to-skin contact and you are more at risk of being infected if your skin is damaged, or if it is wet and in contact with roughened surfaces. For example, in swimming pools and changing areas.

You can also spread the wart virus to other areas of your body. For example, warts may spread round the nails, lips and surrounding skin if you bite warts on your fingers, or nearby nails. If you have a poor immune system you may develop lots of warts which can be difficult to clear.

Prevention of warts and verrucas

To prevent warts:

  • avoid direct contact with another person's wart
  • don't share towels with a person who has warts
  • don't share shoes or socks with someone who has a verruca
  • don't scratch or pick at a wart, this may encourage it to spread
  • wear flip-flops in communal showers and around swimming pools

To treat or not to treat ?

Warts and Verrucae can sometimes clear spontaneously without treatment although this may be after some months. However, treatment is recommended if the infection is :-

  • spreading to other areas of the foot
  • causing discomfort.

How we treat Verrucae and Warts

1

Caustic chemicals: Often used on children or when the infection is not large or established.

2

Swift Microwave Therapy: a controlled energy dose is applied as microwaves travel into the tissue destroying the infected tissue within a predetermined depth. The treatment usually needs to be repeated to completely clear the infection.

3 Electrosurgery: performed under local anaesthetic, the infected tissue is removed in one treatment. Being a surgical procedure, the wound takes a few weeks to heal and patients attend the surgery for after-care. Often used on large or stubborn warts that have not cleared with other methods.
At the Beehive and Brookland Foot Clinics we are happy to examine and advise as to whether a verruca needs treatment, and if so, which is the most suitable method of treatment for you.
copyright 2006-2010 Lee G. Raphael Podiatrists | Foot Health treatment Chiropodists of North East London and East London Clinics Essex E4 E7 E10 E11 E17 E18 Ilford Essex IG1 IG2 North West London Clinic Hampstead Garden Suburb NW11 N2 N10 NW3 UK England |
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