News article

How to spot if you have a Verruca or Wart

Warts and verrucas are a common viral infection that affects 1 in 10 people in the UK at any one time1 . This means that at some point in our lifetimes it’s likely that we will either experience having one or the other, a wart or a verruca.

 

That’s why it’s important to look out for the signs and symptoms of warts and verrucas to avoid spreading them to other people. Take a look at these top 5 tips on spotting a verruca or wart:

 

1.     The most obvious; change in skin appearance

While it may be quite obvious, not everybody knows what to look out for.  Although once infected for the first time with the virus, it can lay dormant for 2-6 months, so you may not necessarily know you are infected until your skin changes. The most common signs of a wart are usually a firm raised area with a rough irregular surface similar to a cauliflower (although some are smooth). They vary in size, from less than 1mm to more than 1cm across and can appear on their own or in a group.

Whereas verrucas develop on the soles of the feet, they are white, often with a black dot or dots in the centre. They tend to be flat rather than raised and can be painful if they're on a weight-bearing part of the foot.

 

2.     You’ve changed in a communal area recently

If you’ve spotted a flat, white and potentially painful mark on the soles of your feet that you haven’t seen before, this could be a sign of a verruca. Especially if you have been changing in communal areas, such as your local pool and gym club. This is because the virus that causes verrucas thrive in damp, wet conditions. Verrucas tend to be flat rather than raised like warts. This is why you should make sure you remember to check your feet if you go to places that many people walk along barefooted.

If your child or someone in your household has a verruca, sharing towels with them could mean that you could become infected with the HPV Virus. It’s for this reason that sharing items such as towels, socks and shoes with anyone who you know has or has had a verruca is not a good idea.

 

3.     You’ve been around people who have Verrucas

If your child or someone in your household has a verruca, sharing towels with them could mean that you could become infected with the HPV Virus. It’s for this reason that sharing items such as towels, socks and shoes with anyone who you know has or has had a verruca is not a good idea.

 

4.     Your feet have become painful

Noticing that the soles of your feet may have become painful is another sign that you may have a verruca. This is because Verrucas can sometimes be painful if they are on a weight-baring part of the foot. If your feet are in more pain than usual, take a look to see if there may be any sign of a flat white area with a black dot or dots in the centre. Bear in mind that not all verrucas look the same, but these are the basics of what to look out for.

 

5.     You have broken skin on your hands

Hand warts are more likely to appear if you have broken skin on your hands, hangnails or closely bitten nails. This is because cuts and scrapes are an entry point for HPV virus to attack. Some ways that could help prevent warts on the hands include:

·       Wash your hands regularly

·       Protect broken skin from germ filled places such as Gyms

·       Use clean towels/clothes

·       Don’t bite your fingernails

 

Although warts and verrucas can disappear in time, this process can take months or even up two years. That’s why treatments such as EndWarts PEN can help speed up the process. If you’re not sure if you have a wart or verruca, it’s always best to seek medical advice from your pharmacist or GP.

  

1.     http://patient.info/health/warts-and-verrucas-leaflet

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