|What Are Verrucas?
Verrucas are also known as plantar warts.
Verrucas are warts that appear on the soles of the feet. Although they are the same as common warts, verrucas grow into the skin because of the pressure they are continually under from the weight of the body. If a group of verrucas appear and join together it is called a mosaic wart. Verrucas appear flattened into the sole of the feet, they have a thick skin surface and are painful to walk on. They are dotted with tiny black spots which are small blood vessels. Verrucas are caused by a virus which is usually picked up from walking barefoot in damp areas such as changing rooms and around swimming pools.
Most warts disappear without treatment, but you may be waiting months or even years. Several over the counter treatments are available but verrucas can stubbornly resist treatment. If despite self-help treatments your wart persists, or if you are unsure if it is a lesion or a wart, talk to your doctor.
Non Prescription Treatments
1. Salicylic Acid: Burn it off
You can buy non-prescription salicylic acid treatments as a lotion, paint or special plaster. Usually you need to apply the treatment once a day for up to 3 months. The acid burns the top layer of skin. After a few days you rub off the dead tissue with a pumice or emery board and repeat the treatment. Gradually the wart wears away.
2. Cryotherapy Products: Freeze if off
You can buy non-prescription remedies to help freeze off warts. These include Dr. Scholl's Freeze Away Wart Remover and Compound W Freeze Off. These products are not as effective as cryotherapy done in a doctor's office using liquid nitrogen, but they are significantly less expensive and thus worth trying.
3. Crushed Garlic
Apply a small amount of crushed garlic or tea tree oil to the wart twice a day. Garlic can sting so make sure you only apply it to the infected area of skin.
4. Banana Skin
While this may sound strange, anecdotal evidence suggests a banana skin can help. It appears there is an enzyme in the skin that can attack verrucas. Apply some of the inside of a banana skin to the wart and cover with a plaster. Change every day until the wart disappears.
Place a tiny bit of your urine on a cotton ball and apply to the verruca. Cover the cotton ball with a plaster. Change twice a day. Urine is sterile and contains anti-bacterial and anti-viral elements that help fight infections and soften the skin.
6. Homeopathic Remedies
Take Thuja 6C homeopathic remedy. Also rub Thuja Mother tincture directly daily to the wart and cover with a plaster.
7. Duct Tape
One study showed that covering warts with a strong adhesive tape (like duct tape) helped to speed up the disappearance of the growths. For more, read how to treat warts.
8. Freezing (Cryotherapy)
Done in a doctors office, cryotherapy involves freezing the wart off with liquid nitrogen. The nitrogen is applied directly to the wart with a spray canister or cotton-tipped applicator. The chemical causes a blister to form and the infected skin falls off after about a week. It can be painful and may take several treatments for the wart to fully clear up.
Cantharidin is a substance extracted from the blister beetle. It is used with salicylic acid and applied directly to the wart. The initial application is painless but a blister forms later which can be quite painful. You return to the doctors office a week later and he clips away the dead part of the wart.
Verrucas are more common in people who are run down. Your doctor may recommend an interferon injection, it boosts your immune system so your body rejects warts and stops them forming. It may produce flu like symptoms for a few hours because the injection usually contains mumps antigens.
11. Laser Treatment
A laser burns the infected tissue which eventually dies and falls off. It can be painful and leaves scarring.
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