Do you feel that?
A feel very much like having a pointy rock in your shoe, or walking on a pebble.
Imagine if you are an athlete or sportsperson – say, a Major League Baseball player.
Can you still play your normal game, to slide and run without feeling restricted, under such circumstances of having verruca or plantar wart on feet?
Most probably not.
It was a discomfort that made MLB shortstop Elvis Andrus went for surgery and missed few days of workouts.
A pain that similarly made MLB outfielder Michael Cuddyer miss 7-14 days after… errr, his self-treatment to remove verruca – also known as plantar wart.
Verrucas Hurt… Ouch!
Verrucas are rough, spongy growths of skin on the soles of your feet, sometimes on the heel and toes.
Verruca is caused by Human Papillomavirus that enters the body through a break in the skin. As the virus enters the upper layers of the epidermis, the foot wart may begin as small shiny raised bumps, with the lesions develop into hard, callused skin over time. Verrucas normally have clotted blood vessels appearing as black dot in the middle, with a surrounding hard, white area.
Warts are usually painless, but why do warts hurt on the feet – and not on the other body parts like hands?
From the second your tootsies hit the floor in the morning until you fall into bed at night, your feet are basically on the move. With all that you do in a day – walking in the workplace, standing in queue, playing sports in the evening – pressures are exerted on your feet, and verrucas can turn all these everyday activities into painful ordeal.
The reason is that, when these little buggers occur over weight bearing areas like heel or sole, the warts are pushed deep into the epidermis, grow inward from the plantar surface of your foot, and may impinge upon underlying tissues. The verruccas can correspondingly incur significant pain or tenderness when direct pressure is applied – because of the location of these plantar warts.
Are Verrucas Contagious ( and how do verrucas spread ) ?
Verrucas are caused by Human Papillomavirus types 1, 2, 4, 63 – and HPV viruses are contagious.
Once verruca wart developed on feet, they can spread by direct contact and transmit to one’s self or others. A person with plantar warts can spread them to other areas of the foot by picking or scratching the wart, while contact with any skin or blood shed from the wart may cause warts to spread.
According to University of Michigan, verrucas can also transmit by indirect contact from person to person or from a warm, moist environment to a human being. The humid conditions of places such as swimming pools area and public shower floors create the perfect breeding ground for viruses like HPV.
Just as independent author Michael Graeme’s observation, his kids had verrucas all the time when regularly visit the public swimming pool, and when the visit stopped, the kids stopped getting the warts on foot.
What You Can Do to Prevent Verrucas
- Keep your feet clean and dry. Change your socks daily and allow your shoes to dry thoroughly.
- Avoid walking barefoot, and wear footwear in public areas with most walking surfaces.
- Avoid irritating the soles of your feet, such as wearing narrow high heel shoes that are too tight.
- Once verrucas developed, do not pick or scratch the wart to prevent spread to other areas of the foot.
- Cover verrucas with bandage or athletic tape.
- Wear verruca sock as precaution or to prevent verruca virus spread.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after contacting verrucas and caring for the affected area.
- Do not share shoes and personal care item like towel with another person.
- Get verruca treatment to avoid further spread to oneself and others.
The fact is, even with your best preventive effort, you could still find verrucas on feet at some point in your lives.
If and when that happens, below are pictures of what does a verruca look like on your foot.
Don’t feel depressed, as you are certainly not alone, and there are solutions. Just read on.
How to Get Rid of Verrucas and Your Pain on Feet
You are risking to injure yourself, suffer from wound infection, and spread your verrucas even more with such dangerous acts.
While American Podiatric Medical Association does not advise self-treatment – You certainly have a choice.
Pop over to check out the comprehensive One-stop Warts Removal Definitive Guide on this site, detailing:
- wart removal tips on how does each wart treatment method help to get rid of warts
- pro and con analysis of each approach
- risks and precautions
- cost comparison
- factors to consider before choosing your wart treatment option
- what are the recommendations.
Go ahead to read it, I’ll wait… *twiddles his thumbs* … finished reading?
We’ll now zoom in specifically on verruca. For each verruca treatment method covered, you’ll be guided with
- brief Description of the treatment and procedure.
- selected Video (as available) demonstrating real life case study for illustration – click to watch.
- real life examples of positive / negative Reviews and Results from patients / users based on actual experience.
Let’s get started.
Verruca Wart Surgery and Medical Treatment
In case you are wondering what kind of doctor treats plantar warts:
You can visit dermatologist or podiatric physician, while most general practitioners can provide first level wart treatment and removal.
The doctor will evaluate and assess your verrucas and the state of your immune system to determine which treatment is the best for you. The verrucas treatment that the doctor choose may include non-invasive approach or invasive surgical procedure.
#1 – Topical Treatment by Doctor and Dermatologist
Doctor may recommend cream or a chemical as medication that applies directly onto your verruca as the usual first treatment. The common topical treatment for verrucas include:
- Cantharidin – the liquid injection causes the skin under wart to blister and lift the wart from the skin of foot.
- Retinoid cream – applied at home, which works by disrupting the skin cell growth of the verrucas.
- Bichloroacetic acid (BCA) – a medication applied in the office that destroys proteins in the cells of verrucas.
If a verruca patient has not improved substantially after the topical treatment, most doctors would subsequently recommend surgical treatment.
What Patients Say:
* When I had a Plantar wart on my foot, my Derm gave me salicylic acid to dissolve it over a week or two. / Tck13 @ Style Forum
* I’ve had 4 verrucas on my right foot for about 15 years! I thought they might go away eventually but no! I had them all frozen at my GP surgery but it didn’t work, then tried salycilic acid for about 5 weeks and two of them have now gone – hurrah! / toastedteacake @ NHK Choices UK
#2 – Cryotherapy
This treatment destroys the verruca by freezing it with liquid nitrogen, causes a blister to be formed. When the blister peels off, all or part of the verruca peels off as well.
Watch this excellent video, in which Dr Paul Thomas MD demonstrated and explained the cryotherapy treatment step-by-step from start to finish, using liquid nitrogen to treat a young girl’s plantar wart on her toe.
What Patients Say:
* I had several on my foot years ago that I had had for many years. It took quite a few visits to the doctor’s office to get them frozen every week or two. It was quite painful for a day or two after the treatment. Did get rid of them, finally. / NLBWell @ Tennis Warehouse
* I got my first plantar wart about four months ago. It’s toward the center of the bottom of my foot, so it hurts when I walk… I tried two sessions of cryotherapy. It turned the wart black, and now I have two more growing under my foot. / patient @ eMedicineHealth
* My son had a massive verruca. We’d go to the dr’s every month to freeze it off, didn’t work after 12 months the dr said leave it when the body realises its there it will get rid of it. sure enough he got up 1 morning and it was gone. / Caroline Duncan @ Salon Geek
#3 – Surgical Excision
The doctor may cut out the verruca using surgical knife (scalpel), with the procedure is usually done in a doctor’s office or an outpatient surgery center. Most people are treated using anesthesia that numbs the area around the warts to prevent pain.
Watch this video by Dr. Matthew Neuhaus who surgically removed verruca from a patient’s foot.
What Patients Say:
* I had one removed by a doctor – he cut and scraped it out. I couldn’t walk comfortably for a couple of weeks and had to look at a hole in my foot, but it got the job done. The first shot of anesthetic the doc put directly into the wart was extremely painful, but the pain didn’t last long. / L Miller @ BackPackingLight
* I had my plantar wart removed surgically – twice, because it grew again, and the second time, they cut out so much flesh that the wound required 3 stitches. After that, the wart didn’t grow back. / Wynn @ sciforums
#4 – Laser Therapy
Lasers produce light energy beam which burns and destroys verrucas. Laser treatment is done in the operating room, with the warts area must be numbed with an anesthetic prior to the procedure, to prevent pain.
What Patients Say:
* I’ve had the pulse dye laser treatment twice now and it is looking good. It is extremely painful after the procedure for a few weeks. It is normal to get a blood blister (and normal blisters), pain and swelling. Once the blood blisters go away, it just looks like black dead skin. After they remove the dead tissue, mine did look very sore and it ended up scabbing up. / Liljen @ Foot Health Forum
* I just had plantar wart surgery on both feet approximately two weeks ago. I had the laser surgery and they removed approximately 27 warts. It has been one of the most uncomfortable experiences I have ever had. It is still uncomfortable to walk, even after two weeks. There is a hole everywhere a wart was removed. / Mark @ Nutra Legacy
Plantar Wart Removal Cream – OTC Treatment at Home
Wart creams, especially Salicylic acid-based products, are common verruca treatment solutions that are widely available over-the-counter or via online purchase, normally without a prescription required.
- Study on 723 patients published by U.S. National Library of Medicine shows 57% of patients used the cost-effective topical treatment with Salicylic acid before attending the GP surgery, whilst
- Research on 240 patients published by The BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) concluded Salicylic acid and the Cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen were equally effective for verrucas treatment.
Getting Rid of Verrucas with Home Remedies
Wart removal home remedies are very popular, as people like low-cost / natural treatment options and.. to avoid the doctors!
For all home remedies lovers, check out recommendations from the natural remedies expert Claire Goodall in her DIY home remedies Everyday Roots Book, or alternatively wart removal solution at home that changed the life of alternative medical practitioner and natural remedies expert Charles Davidson.
Below are some other home remedies and case studies.
#1 – Duct Tape
Watch this video explanation, or demo video below with detailed step by step illustration – first using Listerine to clean the skin to kill off the wart virus, then duct tape is used to seal the verrucas so that oxygen cannot reach it.
What Patients / Users Say:
* Duct tape has worked for me.. I just keep it covered, all the time, with duct tape. Once/day or so, I soak it in hot water, and file it down (pumice stone, for example). Then, I dry it and put on a fresh piece of duct tape. It has worked, but you have to keep it up for at least a month or two. / J-rap @ Well Trained Mind forum
* I tried the duct tape treatment and got a new wart to go away after about three months. On the other hand, I tried it on a couple of old warts with no effect whatsoever. / Kevin W. Parker @ ScienceBlogs
* I have warts in the same exact place, but on different legs. I have tried the duct tape technique and it really frustrates me and hurt me when I pull the duct tape off. Someone please help to find a faster remedy. / Emily S @ Peoples Pharmacy
#2 – Apple Cider Vinegar
Wanna try to get rid of verrucas using apple cider vinegar? Wash your affected area, dip one cotton ball with ACV, put it on the wart, then cover it with duct tape. Watch below video demo.
What Patients / Users Say:
* Apple Cider Vinegar worked for us. My girls had them on their feet. At night we would put on the ACV and a band aid, it took a few weeks, but worked! / Jaime Layton @ Kitchen Stewardship
* Unfortunately, the ACV didn’t work for my daughter. We tried 2x. It was very painful, especially toward the end. They did eventually fall out and left a crater. We continued to apply ACV for a couple weeks to kill the virus, but they came back bigger and stronger. /@ KellytheKitchenKop
#3 – Banana
Take a banana and take off the peel and cut a piece of banana peel. Tape this peel over the wart, leave it for overnight and take it off in the morning. Watch this recommendation by natural remedy expert Dr Janet Maccaro in video below (at 2:50 mark).
What Patients / Users Say:
* Both my boys got rid of warts using banana skin. After showering at night, cut a small piece of banana skin and place it with the inside face against the skin. Put a bandage/plaster over it and leave it in place over night and – if possible – for the whole of the next day. At night, shower and replace with fresh banana skin. Repeat until the wart starts to separate from the surrounding skin. At that point it might come out with the banana skin, or you might be able to gently pull it out with your fingers – it won’t hurt at this stage because it will be dead. / Laura Corin @ Well Trained Mind forum
* I heard about the banana treatment and tried it. I taped a piece of banana skin on top of the wart and left on all the time – Changing the banana twice a day. It took a few weeks but finally the build up of skin was removed and I could see the wart was larger than I realized – not a pinhead size but more like a dime. When I could see the black “seeds” I switched to apple cider vinegar soaked pads taped to my foot instead of banana. That’s when it started to hurt. Every night I would rub it with a pumice and gently cut away ant dead skin. / Patti @ Peoples Pharmacy
#4 – Tea Tree Oil
Naturopathic Doctor Holly Lucille explains how to remove warts with tea tree oil in this video.
Simply dub a cotton ball with tea tree oil and apply directly to affected area, whereby you can check out this Tea Tree Essential Oil with amazing customer reviews.
What Patients / Users Say:
* I had persistent verrucas on my left foot about 10 years ago. I had 2 hospital operations (after being referred by chiropodist and gp) under local anaesthetic which were unsuccessful in removing them. I applied neat tea tree oil 2-4 times a day. It took a while (4-6weeks) but they went with no return. / Pip @ The Rivendale Review
* A word of caution from a very recent personal experience. I applied tea tree oil to a rash I was fighting. 4 days later the size of the “rash” grew 5 fold. What was recommended is that you apply a dab over several days to the same spot of skin, and wait for a reaction. In my case that dab broke out into a red rash. Turns out it was the TT oil. As an aside, I used TT oil successfully several years ago. Now it is no longer an option. But boy, the price I paid to find that out could have been avoided by testing before applying to a large area. / Bill @ Backdoor Survival
Want Additional Verruca Treatment Tips?
#1 – Boost Your Body’s Immune System To Help Get Rid of (recurring) Verrucas
According to University of Maryland Medical Center, nutritional support by eating antioxidant-rich fruits (such as blueberries and cherries) may enhance immune function to fight HPV and minimize recurrence warts-causing HPV.
What Patients / Users Say:
* A diet change worked for me. The topical medicines and duct tape made the skin swell but the plantar warts on my foot never died, two quarter-sized patches that grew and lasted over 18 months. Added fresh blueberries to my morning breakfast every day, and noticed the patches shrink after a couple of weeks. Another month of fresh berries and the warts were gone and have never come back, 5 years later. Anti-oxidant cure? / Logan @ Life Learning Today.
* My son had numerous warts on his hands and feet…duct tape and doctor’s trips to freeze them did nothing…we decided to try healing his immune system by taking good quality multi vitamins and added grapefruit seed extract capsules, as it is a natural anti-viral…within two months they had all just faded away after fighting them for two years! / Cher @ Kitchen Stewardship
#2 – Use Special Pad to Relieve Pressure and Pain on Verrucas
Use special pads such as doughnut shaped pads (available at drugstores) to fit around your verruca, so that you don’t put weight on it in order to relieve the pressure on verruca that would help avoid or reduce pain.
This post has covered some of the best ways to remove verrucas (plantar warts) on feet, so you just need to put them into action.
If you are not sure your skin condition is a wart, or you need further advice to treat your plantar wart, then always consult a doctor or dermatologist.
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How would you remove your verrucas?
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