• LRPodiatry

What is a Verruca?

A verruca is a wart on your foot. It is caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) which infects an area of your skin and changes its appearance. Anywhere else on the body the infection is called a wart but, on your foot, we call it a verruca.

There are quite a few different strains of the HPV virus that cause warts and verrucae, which is why they can differ in appearance. Big or small, one or several, they are a stubborn, annoying and sometimes painful problem.

The infection changes the appearance of the skin making it overgrow and thicken, leading to a benign (non-cancerous) skin growth (the verruca).

Verrucas can occur anywhere on the foot, but are often found on the weight bearing areas and toes. They can vary in size from just a few millimetres to more than a few centimetres. They may be rough and have a surface that protrudes slightly from the surrounding skin. Close inspection with a magnifying glass may reveal small black dots, sometimes people think these are “seeds” but they are in fact tiny thrombosed blood vessels. An individual can have one or several verrucas, and can also have warts elsewhere on their body at one time.

Many people with verrucae worry about how they look especially in the summer months when our feet are on display. If they are on a weightbearing part of your foot they may build up hard skin (callous) over them which can make them uncomfortable. But apart from this verruca don’t usually cause any symptoms.

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