What is a verruca?

A verruca is a wart found on the bottom of the foot. It is a viral infection that sits inside a protective capsule, shielded from being detected by the body’s immune system. It is this capsule (and the type of skin surrounding it) and that makes verrucae hard to treat. The virus is the HPV – many different strains of this virus cause warts and cold-sores all over the body.

Verrucae can be identified by looking for little black dots inside them

So why do children get them?

  • Children are more likely to go barefoot than adults
  • Children partake in a variety of activities that may expose them to the virus – swimming, gymnastics, karate and being bare foot at school –in the classroom, bathrooms and in the playground
  • Children are likely to have cuts and scrapes that leave the skin open to viral cells getting in
  • Children’s feet sweat more than adult’s feet, this means a lovely damp environment for the virus to thrive

OK, so how do we fix them?

  • Liquide nitrogen (dry ice) is a painful treatment that may just cause the capsule around the verruca to strengthen, without getting rid of the verruca – we don’t offer that treatment option here.
  • At Footsense, your podiatrist will assess the verruca and put in place the best treatment for your child. This is usually a combination of gentle debridement, Silver Nitrate (a little sting) to cauterise the capillaries and salicylic acid to slough off infected cells.

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