A verruca is a wart caused by the Human Papilloma Virus, spread through abrasions in the skin as a result of either direct or indirect contact with the virus. The infection can be quite slow to develop, taking anywhere from 6 weeks to 8 months.

Signs and symptoms might include:

  • feeling pain when pressure is applied to the area
  • feeling as if you are walking on a pebble
  • verruca may have a cauliflower appearance
  • skin may appear brown or grey and be spongy or scaly, or have tiny black dots.
  • skin around the verruca changes (a clear indication that a verruca is present).

Verrucae can sometimes disappear on their own, once the body’s immune system has fought off the infection. Leaving the body to heal itself is often the best course of action, but you might need to be patient.

However, verrucae can spread and become painful, in which case you would be better seeking treatment.

Treatment varies and depends on the location, size and number of verrucae. It might involve removing the surface of the verruca and starting an immune response from the body which will then attack the virus. Bleeding will probably occur when a file, scalpel or burr is used by the foot health practitioner. This is quite normal and is due to the blood vessels within the verruca bursting. Salicylic acid is then applied and the area is dressed with a sterile dressing.

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