As Podiatrists, we deal with lots of issues relating to the feet. Most commonly, we get cases of simple ingrown toenails turning into infections. We also very commonly see verrucas on feet, which many people confuse for other types of warts and corns. We’re well equipped to deal with all these problems, and more. We believe in educating our clients so they know how to practice proper foot hygiene. This way, the health of their feet stays good and they don’t have to suffer from common issues again.
That’s why we’ve put together this article to give you some information on verrucas on feet, what they look like, and how to go about verruca treatment. Read on to learn more.
What Is A Podiatrist
Before we jump into the world of Verrucas on feet, we’ll give you a little background on who we are and what we do. Lots of people still aren’t aware of what we do and still find themselves asking the question, “what is a Podiatrist?”. We’ll clear up that doubt before telling you more about verrucas on feet and verruca treatment!
A Podiatrist is a medical specialist that helps with problems related to your feet and lower legs. We can deal with complications from health issues like diabetes, and even treat minor and major injuries. People also call us Podiatric Physicians or Doctors of Podiatric Medicine, as well as Chiropodists.
Though a Podiatrist IS a doctor, they don’t go to traditional medical schools. There are separate schools and professional associations for Podiatrists. Doctors usually have an “MD” after their name, which stands for “Medical Doctor”. We have “DPM” at the end of our names. This stands for “Doctor of Podiatric Medicine”.
We can perform surgeries, reset broken bones, order lab tests or x-rays, and even rest broken bones. We’re completely licensed to do so, and we often work alongside other specialists that treat issues of the feet and lower legs.
A Very Commonly Seen Issue: Verrucas on Feet
Now that you’ve cleared up the question, “what is a Podiatrist?”, we can move on to a common issue we see everyday – Verrucas on feet.
Verruca on feet or verruca infections are a virus. It is caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and is highly contagious. Verrucas on feet are commonly spotted on the soles of the areas around one’s toes. These viruses thrive in moist environments and tend to cyclically be an outbreak in children at the park (like hand, foot, mouth disease). Verrucas tend to look kind of like cauliflowers, but then they flatten up because of pressure when they are on the soles of your feet.
Sometimes verrucas can be painless, but more often than not they are very uncomfortable and even painful to deal with. They can disappear overnight, or can be persistent for years on end. They are highly contagious and so they spread from person to person in a seemingly never ending cycle. They are spread through both direct and indirect skin contact, so they really are a virus to look out for!
It’s very easy to confuse verrucas on feet for other types of warts and corns. That’s why it’s important to know the distinct symptoms of verrucae (yes, that’s the plural of verruca!). This way you can identify them and give them the correct form of verruca treatment.
There are some key identifying factors when it comes to Verrucas which can help you single them out from all these other ailments:
- There’s a black dot in the centre of the raised skin (in most cases)
- The “wart” is oddly cauliflower-shaped
- You feel a stinging “stepping-on-a-needle” type of pain when you apply pressure
- The lump is small and rough
- You may have multiple on your hands and around your mouth as well (in the case of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, or HFM for short, which is common in most children)
There are different ways you can go about verruca treatment. The most common ones are Salicylic acid, Cryotherapy, and SWIFT verruca treatment. Your podiatrist will be able to tell you which verruca treatment is best for you.
Here’s some information on each verruca treatment:
- Salicylic Acid: There are many creams, gels and medicated plasters for treating warts and verrucas. You can buy these over-the-counter, but only do so if you’re sure it’s a verruca infection. Most of these contain salicylic acid which is a key ingredient in treating verruca infections. Be careful when applying these medications, and try to use as little as possible in surrounding areas because it can cause irritation to healthy skin. You can even protect the skin around the verruca infection with non-fragranced and natural petroleum jelly. Try not to get any of the treatment on broken skin. You can soften the area before-hand by soaking it in water and rubbing it to remove excess hard skin. Once dried, make sure to cover the affected area with a plaster. Apply the treatment according to your Podiatrist / Pharmacist’s advice.
- Cryotherapy: This is the process of freezing your wart or verruca using liquid nitrogen so it falls off. Most pharmacists have OTC cryotherapy preparations that contain other gases, but these don’t normally work too well because they can’t freeze at temperatures as low as liquid nitrogen, which is why it’s better if you visit a Podiatrist to get this done (book an appointment with Bucks Foot Clinic today!). During cryotherapy, your doctor will apply the liquid nitrogen to your verruca using either a spray or a cotton bud. It usually takes between 5-30 seconds to freeze depending on the size and location and also the method used. You may have to repeat the treatment multiple times till the verruca or wart eventually falls off. Cryotherapy, however, hasn’t been shown to work any better than salicylic acid and can often lead to blisters and scarring that can be painful, which is why it’s not recommended for younger children.
- SWIFT Verruca Treatment: SWIFT is a relatively new technology that’s been developed in the UK, and has been licensed for treating verrucas by podiatrists all over. SWIFT uses microwave energy, delivered through a probe which is put on the skin to treat the affected area. With SWIFT Machine Treatment, you can get rid of multiple verrucas and warts in just one sitting, and it’s quick and efficient in doing so. The cherry on top is that you don’t require anaesthetics of dressings afterwards!
If you want to efficiently and permanently remove your verruca, we suggest SWIFT treatment. Most Podiatrists would opt for this treatment as it is a very efficient and good solution to the problem of verrucas on feet.
It’s always best to see a Podiatrist when facing any issues related to the feet. Especially if you have a condition like diabetes or other circulation-related illnesses. Ignoring a simple issue on your foot can lead to something much bigger and way worse in the long run. In some cases, a simple infection could lead to amputation (especially in the case of daibetic patients).
If you think you may have an issue like ingrown toenail infection or verrucas on your feet, don’t hesitate and wait till it’s too late. Book an appointment with Bucks Foot Clinic for the best treatment you can get!