You Might Have Them!
What is it?
Verrucae are plantar warts that commonly occur on the soles of the feet or around the toe area.
They are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which is highly contagious through direct person to person contact. There are various forms of HPV which all relate to various parts of the human body.
What causes the problem?
The virus is thought to thrive in moist, damp environments such as swimming pools, changing room floors and communal shower areas. It is possible to contract verrucae simply by walking across the same floor area as someone with a verruca, especially if you have any small or invisible cuts or abrasions that make it easier for the virus to penetrate.
Is it serious?
Verrucae are harmless but can be uncomfortable and painful if they develop on a weight bearing part of the foot. In addition, callus can form over the top of the verruca increasing the discomfort in this area. There are also some strains of the virus that spread very quickly and can look unsightly.
Who gets it?
Verrucae are most commonly seen in children, teenagers and young adults, largely those who use communal changing rooms. It is possible to develop an immunity against the virus over time but most people remain susceptible, although some more than others.
How do I know I have it?
The most common appearance is that of a small cauliflower type growth on the soles of your feet with tiny black dots. If when you pinch the area (like when you squeeze a spot) it is painful, you are likely to have a verruca. They can grow to half an inch in diameter and may spread into a cluster of small warts. If you are unsure, seek advice from your local pharmacist or visit a podiatrist.
How do I prevent it?
To avoid catching verrucae, keep your feel in a regular healthy condition. Always dry them thoroughly after washing and if your feet are sweaty, treat them with surgical spirit; if they are dry, moisturise them with suitable creams and lotions.
Other tips include wearing flip-flops in communal areas, not sharing towels, shoes and socks, and treating conditions such as Athlete’s Foot with specialist treatment from a pharmacist.
If you do have a verruca and want to go swimming, special verrucae socks should be worn to avoid passing on the virus and can also be worn generally as a preventative measure.
RIVERA FOOT & ANKLE: At Orlando H.Rivera DPM, our priority is to deliver quality care to informed patients in a comfortable and convenient setting. When you have problems with your feet, you need to turn to a podiatrist who listens and responds… an experienced doctor who knows the field and can effectively diagnose and treat your needs… a friendly physician who counsels you on the best ways to maintain and improve your health. Our physician(s) meet all these criteria. Plus, you benefit from a dedicated team of trained professionals who give you the individualized attention you deserve.
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