Verrucas (or plantar warts) are caused by the human papiloma virus (hpv) and are very contagious. They are commonly found on the load bearing areas of the foot. Verrucas are harmless lesions that are usually destroyed by the body’s natural immunity, but this can take months or years to occur and in the interim the verruca can become painful because of the constant pressure being placed on it.
Treatment of verrucas depends on the age of the patient and location and numbers of lesions on the foot. The safest and most effective treatments are those containing salicylic acid, which destroys the viral cells.
Other treatments include:-
- Low level laser therapy: useful for treating large areas of verrucae at a time.
- Cryotherapy: a controlled destruction of the tissues using very low temperatures i.e. freezing of the skin.
- Surgical excision: the verruca is pared down and removed under local anaesthetic.