Verrucae are wart like growths on the foot.
Those on the sole and heel are flat in appearance due to the pressure caused by the body weight. They spread from person to person in areas of warmth and moisture such as swimming pools and hotel bathrooms.
Children's skin is most prone to the development of verrucae, as it is thinner and more likely to sustain damage, allowing entry of the virus responsible for verrucae development.
Medical opinion varies on whether to treat verrucae or not.
Very often the advice given is not to treat, as they can clear unaided. If painful or increasing in size or number, treatment is indicated.
If a decision is made to treat verrucae, there are a number of treatments to consider.
Various chemical preparations are available for self treatment. These may be prescribed by a GP or purchased directly from a pharmacy.
Chiropodists also provide courses of treatments using chemicals.
Alternatively, cryosurgery may be considered and this involves the application of extreme cold to the affected area.
Verrucae can also be excised surgically after the administration of a local anaesthetic.
Chiropodists can advise you.
Generally, if the verrucae are small and show little sign of activity, the advice may be "to leave well alone" and see if it resolves naturally.
However, it may still be capable of affecting others, so take care and keep it covered in swimming pools and bathrooms.
The type of treatment depends upon a number of factors.
For example, children's verrucae are less resistant and often resolve after treatment with chemicals.
Adults usually present with verrucae that are more resistant and Cryosurgery or surgical excision is more suitable.