What is the best verruca treatment? And will a verruca go away on its own?
Our feet are easily ignored until a problem occurs, or when the thought of wearing flip flops fills us with dread. Verrucae are one of the most common conditions that affect the soles of the feet, and they can strike at any time. In this blog post, we will delve into what verrucae are, what causes them, and explore how they can be treated using cryotherapy.
What are Verrucae?
Verrucae are noncancerous growths that occur on the plantar surface (sole) of the feet, typically in the weight-bearing areas such as the heels or balls of the feet. They are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), specifically strains 1, 2, 4, and 63. These strains thrive in warm and moist environments, making swimming pools, changing rooms, and communal showers common areas of exposure.
What causes Verrucae?
Direct contact with the HPV strains responsible for verrucae is the primary cause of this condition. The virus enters the body through small cuts or breaks in the skin, making it easier for the virus to penetrate. Factors that increase the risk of developing verrucae include:
- Weakened Immune System: Individuals with compromised immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or undergoing immunosuppressive therapies, are more susceptible to developing verrucae.
- Walking Barefoot: Walking barefoot in public places, especially damp areas like swimming pools or changing rooms, increases the risk of HPV exposure.
- Skin-to-Skin Contact: Direct contact with someone who has verrucae increases the likelihood of transmission, especially if the skin is damaged or compromised.
Will Verrucae go away on their own?
While some verrucae may go away without treatment, it can take a significant amount of time, sometimes even years. This is due to the fact that verrucae often develop a hard, calloused layer of skin, making them resistant to the body’s natural healing processes. Additionally, the HPV virus can persist in the skin, allowing the verruca to recur or spread to other areas.
Although home remedies and over-the-counter treatments like salicylic acid plasters are available, they may not always be effective in treating stubborn verrucae. Cryotherapy offers a more efficient and targeted approach by freezing the affected area and promoting faster resolution
How to treat Verrucae effectively
We have found the most effective treatment for Verrucae to be cryotherapy which uses nitrogen or argon gas to create extremely cold temperatures to remove diseased tissue without damaging the surrounding tissue. Cryotherapy is one of the most superior treatments in the industry today. It kills off the blood supply which feeds the virus, causing the verruca to dry up, diminish and fall off within four to seven days. Some stubborn Verrucae may require a second treatment.
Cryotherapy has mild to moderate downtime. After the procedure, you may experience some redness, swelling, or a blister at the treated site. These side effects usually resolve within a few days to a couple of weeks and you can generally resume your regular activities approximately 3 days after the treatment.
If you’d like to learn more about Cryotherapy, or to establish whether it’s right for you, click here to enquire or to book a consultation.
Disclaimer: Please be aware that results and benefits may vary from patient to patient taking into consideration factors such as age, lifestyle and medical history.