One Step Ahead: What you Should do if you have a Wart or Verruca
07 September 2022
Warts are lumps of skin that appear on hands and feet whereas verrucas are warts that appear on feet only. Most people will get them at some point in their lives, some last a long time but some clear up quickly after treatment.
Common Warts & Verrucas (plantar warts):
Common warts are skin growths on the top layer of skin that are caused by a virus called the human papilloma virus (HPV). Warts usually appear on the back of the hands and near fingernails; they may also appear on elbows and knees. Common warts are usually rough, hard and have a "cauliflower-like" dome shaped appearance and are not usually painful.
Verrucas (plantar warts) occur on the bottom or the soles of the feet. They sometimes have visible dark specks beneath the surface of the wart. The pressure of standing and walking flattens and forces a plantar wart beneath the skins surface forming a tough "callous-like" skin over the wart. These can be painful, especially if located on the heel or ball of the foot. They have a dome shaped appearance which can be flattened through standing/walking.
How do they happen?
Warts and verrucas are caused by a virus/skin infection called the human papilloma virus (HPV). They can be spread by direct skin-to-skin contact or by touching floors and surfaces that are contaminated with the virus. They are contagious but there is a low risk of catching them unless you have a weakened immune system or if your skin is damaged and wet, which is why people usually catch them in communal showers and swimming pools.
What should I do if I have a Wart or Verruca?
Here are some essential tips to follow if you discover you have a wart or verruca:
How to Treat Warts & Verrucas:
Medicines and topical ointments and treatments can help treat your wart or verruca; your pharmacist can direct you on which treatment method can benefit you most. Medicare have a wart and verruca removal range to help you clear your wart or verruca for good:
How to prevent warts & verrucas:
- Wear sandals at public swimming pools and communal showers
- Practice good hand and foot hygiene, keep nails short and wash them regularly
- If you have a cut or scratch on your hands or feet, cover them with plasters when in a public place
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