A verruca, or verruca plantaris, is a plantar wart that grows on the bottom of the feet and toes. They are the same as common warts, but because of the location they can be quite painful because they are pressed into the bottom of the feet by the weight of the body.
They appear as circular growths which might resemble corns, but usually have several dark, blood colored specs in the center which are actually tiny blood vessels which supply the verruca with nutrients to grow.
A verruca will often spread to surrounding areas of skin on the foot forming a cluster of warts, called a mosaic. The virus is highly contagious and easily spreads to adjacent areas of, as well as from one person to another.
How do you get a verruca on your foot?
Verrucas are caused by the human papilloma virus, or HPV, which is acquired through a break in the skin on the foot. The virus thrives in moist or wet surfaces such as shower areas and swimming pools.
If you have a small cut or abrasion on the bottom of your foot, this gives the virus an entryway into your skin to cause the growth of a verruca. It only requires a microscopic sized abrasion in the skin that is not visible by the human eye for a plantar wart to take hold.
You may prevent the spread of verrucas by covering your feet when walking in public places or in moist environments that are conducive to the growth of the papilloma virus. If you already have a verruca on your foot, you should cover it with adhesive to prevent the spread of the virus to other people.
Treatment for verruca plantar warts
There are a great many folk remedies for treating a verruca, but I don’t recommend you waste your time with them. There are two methods that have proven to work the best, and one is an over-the-counter medication and the other can be provided by your physician.
About 75% of verrucas are successfully treated by the use of over-the-counter products containing the active ingredient salicylic acid, and because of this success rate, this should be the first method that you try.
All you have to do is apply the acid directly to the verruca after you have cleaned and dried the location. There is an applicator usually included with the product, and the acid will kill the skin layer at the top of the wart.
You should then file down the skin with an emery board, and then repeat this process as many times as necessary to remove the entire verruca. You may reference the following comparison chart of the top brands that use salicylic acid as the active ingredient. It comes in either liquid form or on a pad that you stick directly to your foot.
For a stubborn verruca that keeps growing back even after the use of salicylic acid, it is then time to call in the big guns and visit your physician. He has access to a method of plantar wart removal by means of application of liquid nitrogen, which is extremely effective at removing the entire wart and its root. This method will effectively eliminate verrucas at a rate nearing 100%.