One of the most common foot conditions we see in our clinics is verrucae and warts. A common question we get asked is how do you prevent a verruca or wart?
Verrucas are warts that are caused by a virus and can be spread through close skin contact. These are small rough lumps or growths in the skin. They range from the size of a pinprick to 1cm or more in diameter. Verrucae are warts on the soles of your feet (Plantar Warts), and often characterised by tiny dots in the centre (dried blood capillaries). They tend to be flat in appearance as they get trodden in and can form in clusters (Mosaic Verrucae).
It will be hard to completely avoid coming into contact with the strains of the Human Papillomavirus that causes Verrucae, but you can take the following precautions to help protect yourself.
How do you prevent a verruca or wart? – Key points:
- Don’t share items such as towels, socks or shoes.
- Wear flip-flops in communal changing rooms.
- Avoid scratching or picking at them, as this will spread them.
- Change your socks for a clean pair, daily.
- Wash your hands after touching a wart or verruca.
- Don’t share hosiery or footwear with other people.
How do you stop warts and verrucas from coming back?
You can help prevent yourself from getting Verrucas by:
- Not going barefoot in places such as changing rooms and swimming pools.
- Avoid towels and other personal items that belong to someone else.
- Cover your infected foot with a verruca sock or waterproof plaster when you go swimming.
- Dry your infected foot last.
- Wash socks, hosiery and towels at temperatures of 60 degrees or above.
- Protect broken skin, cuts and scrapes with plasters or dressings.
Undoubtedly, the most important piece of advice we can offer is to seek treatment for your verruca as soon as possible. Remember it’s much harder to get rid of them the longer they’ve been there. They are likely to spread on you and to others.