Verrucas are mostly observed on plantar surface of the foot. They are small wart like lesions on soles. They are deep seated, rough growths mainly occurring in areas that are prone to friction and pressure such as the heel, and ball of feet. Verrucas are viral infection caused by human papilloma virus (HPV) type 1 and 2. The virus infiltrates the upper epidermal layer of skin once it comes in contact with the skin surface. It causes proliferation of cells and forms a raised surface.
Verrucas are highly contagious. It spreads through direct contact of skin with the virus.Verrucas are more common in children but it can also occur in adults. Verrucas are painful, especially while walking. Conventional treatment consists of applying topical cream, cryotherapy, salicylic ointment and surgical excision. There is a long list of home remedies; the most effective is to apply Thuja ointment, apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil etc.
What Are The Causes Of Verrucas?
Just like any other wart, verrucas are caused by virus infection. The causative virus is human papilloma virus 1 and 2. There are hundreds of papilloma viruses, but type 1 strain is the most frequent causative agent.This virus is present in many places and many people also carry it on their skin. But it does not produce verrucas. Symptoms only occur when the virus enters into skin through cracks, cuts and bruises.
Verrucas are contagious because live virus is present in the lesion. The mode of spread is through skin to skin contact. Sometimes sharing contaminated objects such as towel, socks, shoes can also spread the infection. Verrucas frequently occur in people who use common showers, the virus is also observed in abundance around swimming pools. People with weak immune system, having poor nutrition, are more likely to develop verrucas.
Signs And Symptoms Of Verrucas
Verrucas or plantar warts normally develop on pressure points of feet. Verrucas are seen more among young people.
- Verrucas can come in different size and shape. It can as small as 1mm and as large as 1 cm in diameter.
- They are grayish or pale discolored raised spots on sole. It develops as a large bump of rough skin. Sometimes there is a small dark spot in the center of the plantar wart. It is a clot formed by the damaged blood vessel.
- Verrucas are painful because they are situated on the pressure point of heel and sole. They especially hurt while walking. Because of pain, patient avoids putting pressure on the lesion. This results in awkward gait. This can lead to pain and cramps in legs.
- Sometimes verrucas can cause itching, especially if there is additional fungal infection.
- Frequent friction can make the surface raw and sore. It may sometime cause bleeding.
- The raised flat lesions can be single or develop in cluster. Flat lesions are called mosaic warts. The skin around verruca is white or pale in color. Constant pressure often makes the lesion flat.
Natural Remedies To Get Rid Of Verrucas
Verrucas or plantar warts normally recede after a period of time on their own without any treatment. It may take few months or one or two years to fade off. In some people they may stay consistently. People take treatment because of pain. It makes walking difficult due to pressure.
Conventional treatment consists of applying salicylic acid ointment or freezing the verruca with liquid nitrogen. Multiple verrucas may be treated with laser therapy or may need surgical excision.
There are several natural medicines to treat verrucas. Those who prefer natural remedies may try following:
- Thuja ointment is homeopathic medicine. It is found effective in removing plantar warts. Apply the ointment over the lesion regularly at night before sleeping.
- Vinegar is another home remedy successfully used to remove verrucas. First soak the verrucas in warm water. Once it becomes soft, scrub the outer thick skin gently with pumice stone. Dab the lesion with cotton soaked in vinegar over verruca. Place a duct tape over the lesion. Remove it next morning. Follow it regularly till the verruca is completely removed.
- Cut a small banana peel slightly larger size than the verruca. Place the white portion or inner side of peel over the lesion. Apply duct tape over the peel to safely secure it. Remove the peel in morning. Follow this regularly till the verruca vanishes completely.