Verrucas like most warts are due to a viral infection of the growing layers of the skin.Injury of the skin is a prerequisite for the contraction of warts, hence, a predilection for the hands, knees and feet as these sites are more prone to minor injury during childhood activities, particularly barefoot activities in changing rooms, gymnasium and especially swimming pools with the plantar skin being slightly soggy together with possibly damp duckboards or foot mats. As with most infection, particularly viral, immunity to the causative occurs in time.This is possibly why such warts occur less often in adolescents and adults.
The majority of dermatologists are not in favour of treating plantar warts.Many feel that because the virus is so widespread, it could be beneficial to spread it as much as possible and as early as possible in the lives of children.Similarly, the use of devices like plastic socks should be discouraged, as like elasticated knee bandages; they can be of limited value, other than attracting attention.The use of a waterproof plaster is sufficient. The main indication for treating plantar warts is intolerable pain or tenderness to walking.This is usually because of the hard skin which accumulates around the wart.
Chemist’s shelves are full of expensive wart remedies principally because none of them work satisfactorily.Most of them work from time to time for the simple reason that all warts will eventually disappear themselves. Occasionally, symptoms may make treatment inevitable and whilst cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen is best avoided on the foot, curettage (scrapping out) under local anaesthesia is valuable in skilled hands. Except in highly skilled hands there is little difference in the disappearance rate of warts, which are treated by different methods or otherwise left untreated.