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Verruca (foot wart): Treatment, symptoms, advice and help

About verruca (foot wart)

This is a benign and harmless skin condition characterized by painless growth of the skin. It is usually viral in origin, caused by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Skin of hands, feet, and the genital region is commonly affected; however it may affect the skin of any part of the body. Foot warts are also known as plantar warts and are found on the soles of the feet.

Verruca (foot wart): Incidence, age and sex

Foot wart is a widespread skin ailment which more commonly affects teenage children. However, an individual in any age may get affected. It usually occurs equally in both men and women. There seems to be no specific preponderance for individuals of any particular race or ethnicity.

Signs and symptoms of verruca (foot wart): Diagnosis

Foot wart appears as a thick growth of skin on the sole of feet which may be surrounded by pigmentation of skin surrounding the area. Sometimes the warts may occur in clusters and they are termed as ‘mosaic warts’. These warts are generally painless but may cause discomfort while walking or running.

The foot warts can be easily diagnosed based upon history and clinical examination by the doctor. Sometimes a biopsy may be advised to exclude similar skin conditions like corns and calluses.

Causes and prevention of verruca (foot wart)

Foot warts are most commonly caused by Human Papilloma Virus, also known as HPV. This condition may be infectious and may spread from person to person by direct or indirect contact. Such warts can be prevented by maintaining good hygiene. Moreover, it is advisable not to scratch the warty area, to avoid spread of this viral infection to other parts of the body.

Verruca (foot wart): Complications

Foot warts are usually harmless and do not lead to any serious health consequences. However it causes physical disfigurement which may be a source of intense distress to the affected individual. Sometimes, foot warts may also cause pain or discomfort while walking or running. Moreover, foot wart is a recurrent skin problem.

Verruca (foot wart): Treatment

There are various treatment modalities for warts and they include cryotherapy, electro-surgery and chemical treatment. Cryotherapy involves freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen. Its efficacy is around 70%, if treatment is maintained for 3-4 months. Sometimes permanent scar may also be formed in using cryotherapy. The chemical treatment requires the use of chemical agents like salicylic acid or podophyllin to remove the dead surface skin cells. Electro-surgery is indicated for large warts and is done under local anaesthesia. Foot warts are harmless and may disappear even without treatment in some individuals. However, they have a tendency to recur frequently.