So… What is a verruca? It’s a wart on the foot caused by a contagious virus infecting the skin. It’s usually spread through walking barefoot on communal surfaces that carry the contamination: hotel bathrooms, public showers, swimming baths, etc. Usually, it’s a weight-bearing area that gets the infection since that part of each foot makes most contact with the ground.
The virus that causes verrucae and warts is called the Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV. It’s common enough to mean that most people end up with a verruca or wart at some time or other.
We’re splitting up this section because the advice that stops the spread of the papilloma virus is aimed at two groups of people: those that want to avoid verrucae – ‘Don’t catch it’ – and those that already have one – Don’t spread it!
Don’t catch it
- Always use your own towels, flannels, etc. In particular, if you know someone has a wart, don’t share theirs.
- Same goes for socks and shoes!
- Seems like obvious advice but we know curiosity can get the better of some people: Don’t touch other people’s warts!
- Avoid shaving in communal washrooms.
- Keep your feet dry and change your socks every day.
- Wear pool shoes or flip-flops when walking in communal areas at swimming baths, etc.
Don’t spread it
If you have one, you can get verruca treatment here at Sloane Square Clinic. In the meantime, here are our tips to help stop it spreading…
Avoid scratching, prodding or picking it.
When taking part in group activities, cover it up. For instance:
- Wear pool slippers / flip-flops in communal areas, such as swimming pools, changing rooms and showers.
- Use a waterproof plaster or verruca sock if you go swimming, or if you go to the gym.
- Children should cover a verruca or wart whilst doing PE at school.
- If you have a wart on your hand, wear gloves when using shared gym equipment.