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06 Dec 2019
December 6, 2019

Verrucas – to treat or not to treat?

December 6, 2019

You’ll find that some Foot Health Practitioners will treat verrucas while others will steer well clear. Why is this you ask? 

Verruca on the sole of a foot

A verruca is a wart on the foot that is caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).   As verrucas are a virus, no one single treatment is 100% effective, with some verrucas lasting for years (even with treatment) and some spontaneously clearing up by themselves.  

Most people will experience infection with HPV at some time in their life.  Although they can occur at any age, they are more common in children and teenagers (in the UK this has been recorded at 5%).   

The look of verrucas can vary, with some being smooth, single verrucas while others grow in clusters forming a ‘tile-like’ pattern and are known as mosaic verrucas.  Each verruca has the presence of capillaries, giving them the appearance of black dots.  

Verrucas are spread by contact, either directly from person to person, or indirectly via surface contact.  Infection via surface contact is more likely if the skin is moist and in contact with roughened surfaces (e.g. conditions which are common in swimming pools, or communal washing areas). 

Nicola Ruddick - FHP
Nicola Ruddick

As a Foot Health Practitioner I do tend to treat verrucas.   The treatment method I like to use is simple yet effective, making the most of the body’s amazing immune system.  

I use a scalpel to remove the top layer of skin on the verruca, aiming to get the capillaries within the verruca to bleed.  The bleeding encourages antibodies within the blood to attack and fight the verruca virus from within.  

Then I cover the verruca with zinc oxide tape. The tape traps in epidermal water loss, encouraging the verruca to macerate. The macerated area becomes a controlled wound, alerting the immune system to the fact that there is a virus hiding in the epidermis, with white blood cells gathering in the area to assist with the wound healing.

Although I cannot promise that this treatment method will get rid of your verucca, the maceration alerts your immune system into fighting the virus, and makes a painful verruca much more comfortable, even if it doesn’t resolve it immediately or fully.

 The zinc oxide tape should be changed daily, with the patient visiting me every few weeks for verruca debriding with a scalpel to get rid of the top layer of the verruca.

Do you have a verruca you would like me to treat and help your body fight it?  If so please get in touch to make an appointment.  I look forward to helping you very soon!  – Written by Nicola Ruddick.

To book an appointment with Nicola Ruddick please ring the clinic on 01865 558561 or book online here.

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