Verrucas are nothing more than warts. Verrucas
are a viral infection and only appear on feet. They are also
known as plantar warts.
Verrucas are most commonly found where the foot is exposed to
pressure, for example, on the ball of the foot. They can be
painful because of the constant pressure on them caused by
standing and walking.
Children and teenagers are most susceptible. They are usually
caught from public changing rooms or around the sides of
swimming pools where a foot with verrucas releases virus
infected cells onto the floor. People with scratches or cuts on
their feet are especially vulnerable. If you have a verruca and
you decide to go swimming, please ensure you wear a protective
sock to stop you spreading the virus.
Verrucas tend to appear flat with thick skin. They usually have
a hard edge around a softer centre. Sometimes black spots can be
seen inside the warts. These are caused by bleeding in the
verruca as a result of pressure caused by standing and walking
on them. They can look quite similar to corns.
Verrucas will heal on their own without treatment but this can often take months
or even years so most people prefer to seek treatment. The
treatment administered often depends on the persons age, how
many they have, where they are and how much trouble they cause.
If you have a verruca, visit your doctor to find out what the
best course of treatment is. Verrucas, whether a cluster or just
one, can be very painful and may require treatment to stop them
spreading. A variety of gels, ointments or paints can be bought
over-the-counter at pharmacies or obtained on doctors'
prescription. These typically contain salicylic acid which
effectively "burns" through the outer-most layer of the affected
skin, destroying the infection as it goes.