Are you experiencing discomfort on your feet? It could be a verruca or a corn. These common foot problems can be bothersome, but with the right knowledge and treatment, you can find relief. In this article, we’ll explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for verrucas and corns. We’ll also provide valuable tips on prevention to keep your feet healthy and pain-free.
Verrucas, also known as plantar warts, are viral infections that affect the soles of the feet. They are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and often appear as small, rough growths. Verrucas can be painful, especially when pressure is applied to them.
Corns, on the other hand, are areas of thickened skin that develop on the toes or soles of the feet. They are usually caused by friction or pressure from ill-fitting shoes or repetitive actions. Corns can be identified by their hardened, raised bumps and tenderness.
Causes and Risk Factors:
Verrucas are highly contagious and can be contracted through direct contact with the virus. Walking barefoot in public areas, such as swimming pools or locker rooms, increases the risk of exposure. Corns, on the other hand, are primarily caused by friction or pressure on the skin.
Risk factors for both verrucas and corns include wearing tight or uncomfortable footwear, having sweaty feet, and participating in activities that put excessive pressure on the feet.
Signs and Symptoms:
Verrucas typically appear as small, fleshy growths with tiny black dots in the centre. They may cause discomfort or pain while walking, especially when located on weight-bearing areas of the foot. Corns, on the other hand, present as hardened, raised bumps with a circular or cone-shaped appearance. They can cause tenderness, pain, or a burning sensation.
To diagnose verrucas or corns, a podiatrist will perform a thorough examination of your feet. They may enquire about your symptoms and medical history. In some cases, a small sample of the skin may be taken for further analysis. Once diagnosed, appropriate treatment options can be discussed.
For mild cases, over-the-counter verruca and corn treatments, such as medicated pads or salicylic acid solutions, can be effective in softening and removing the affected skin.
This treatment involves freezing the verruca or corn with liquid nitrogen. It helps to destroy the affected tissue, allowing new healthy skin to grow.
In some cases, a podiatrist may prescribe stronger medications, such as topical creams or solutions containing stronger acids or antiviral agents.
For persistent or severe cases, surgical removal of verrucas or corns may be necessary. This procedure is typically performed under local anaesthesia.
In addition to medical treatments, there are several home remedies that can help alleviate symptoms and promote healing:
– Soaking your feet in warm water with Epsom salts can help soften the skin and reduce pain.
– Applying moisturising creams or lotions can help keep the skin hydrated and prevent excessive dryness.
– Using cushioned pads or orthotic devices can provide relief and protect the affected areas from further friction or pressure.
– Avoiding tight or ill-fitting shoes can prevent the development of corns and reduce discomfort.
Prevention is key to avoiding verrucas and corns. Here are some helpful tips to keep your feet healthy:
Wear proper footwear:
Choose shoes that fit well and provide adequate support. Avoid narrow or tight shoes that can squeeze your toes.
Keep your feet dry:
Moisture can create an environment for verrucas and corns to thrive. Dry your feet thoroughly, especially between the toes, after bathing or swimming.
Protect your feet in public areas:
Wear flip-flops or sandals in public showers, swimming pools, and locker rooms to minimise your risk of contracting the virus.
Maintain good foot hygiene:
Regularly wash your feet with mild soap and water. Keep your toenails trimmed and avoid sharing personal items like socks or shoes.
When to See a Podiatrist
If your verrucas or corns persist despite home treatments, cause severe pain, or interfere with your daily activities, it’s important to seek professional help from a podiatrist. They can assess your condition, provide appropriate treatments, and offer tailored advice for your foot care.
Understanding the differences between verrucas and corns is crucial in managing these common foot problems effectively.
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