What is it?
Warts or verrucae are common skin growths seen more frequently in children. Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus or HPV, which can get into your system through little cuts or abrasions on your feet. The virus loves warm and moist environments, which makes footwear and swimming pools some of their favourite places to hide. HPV is extremely contagious and can be transmitted through direct contact, so be careful not to touch!
Should I be worried?
The good news is that warts generally aren’t too dangerous! The bad news is that they can be very painful, especially if they find their way onto the bottom of the foot (plantar warts). Plantar warts tend to push deeper into the skin due to being flattened when weight-bearing. It’s estimated 7-10% of the population will experience a wart on their feet, with a higher prevalence in children than adults. (Jennings et al, 2006).
What should I look for?
Here are a few tips on how to diagnose a wart on you or your child’s foot:
- Look for a raised dome, there can often be more than one on a foot.
- Check for black spots in the middle lesion, indicative of a wart.
- Warts are highly vascular, don’t be surprised if they bleed.
- Squeeze test! Gently squeeze the sides towards the centre, if there’s pain it’s likely to be a wart.
How do I get rid of it?
Just over half of all warts will generally self-resolve in a 2 year period. However, often we can’t wait that long because of the pain! At Pro Feet Podiatry we use a range of different methods to get rid of nasty warts. These treatments often include debridement, or removal of the hard skin overlying the wart, and the use of a topical ointment. Warts can be a little stubborn, so multiple treatments are often required.
If you, or anyone you may know, have any questions, please feel free to email me on the address below. Alternatively, make an appointment with myself or any of our team members on 1300 945 789 or book online.
Pro Feet Podiatry
Jennings MB, Ricketti J, Guadara J et al 2006 Treatment for simple plantar verrucae: monochloroacetic acid and 10% formaldehyde versus 10% formaldehyde alone. Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association 96(1):53–58