Causes of verrucae
Verrucae are small, rough growths caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Any area of the skin can be affected, but verrucae or warts are most commonly found on the feet and hands.
There are over 100 different types of HPV and they are contagious but not dangerous.
Although if left alone they may clear spontanously within 2 years, in the meantime they are contagious and if left untreated, may well spread to other areas of your feet, hands and other areas of the body. You could also pass them onto others around you. It is not uncommon for people to catch them from walking barefoot in and around swimming pools, communal showers in gyms and other public changing rooms and other damp places.
Wearing flipflops or sandals in these areas may help to reduce the risk of infection
People who have a weakened immune system are also more likely to develop verrucas and warts.
As soon as you notice that you have a verruca you should seek treatment as it can grow in size and spread or multiply in number. The sooner you treat your verruca the easier it should be to clear this infection.
The treatment depends on where they are, how many, how big, how long you have had them and what other treatments you or others may have tried.
The choice of treatments range from daily application of paints or gels that contain mild acids and these treatments tend to take many weeks before they are successful. This can be done at home.
The most common treatments are:-
1) Salicylic Acid ointment applied to the verruca weekly and the foot must be kept dry throughout the treatment. This usually to take about 6 applications to be effective.
2) Cryosurgery using liquid Nitrogen is a very quick treatment lasting only a few seconds but can be rather uncomfortable to administer.
3) Needling of verrucae is a highly effective treatment especially for more troublesome and larger verrucae or multiple verrucae. This is an ideal treatment as by treating only one verrucae the body builds up immunity against the viral infection and any other verrucae will also disappear spontaneously. This treatment is performed after giving a local anaesthetic.