Plantar Warts or Verruca - Karin Bruckner
Karin specialises in nail surgery and does procedures to prevent ingrown toenails from reoccurring. Onychomycosis (nail fungus) is also a special interest of hers. Patients seen by Karin are athletes, retirees, diabetics, children and anyone needing foot care. Her practice is nestled at the foot of Table Mountain in Vredehoek, also known as Devil’s Peak, which is close to the centre of Cape Town with easy access and parking. The surgery is equipped with the latest technology including computerised gait analysis (RSSCAN) equipment, laser, and a nail debriding machine. The laser which is available at the practice allows for treatment of nail fungus infections without the side effects which can result from drug therapy. It’s non-toxic and can treat all ten toes in 15-20 minutes with no downtime.
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Warts are an infection of the skin by human papillomavirus (HPV) which is one of the most common viral infections of the skin. Verruca or plantar warts, named due to the position on the foot, plantar surface or the sole of the foot. They only become tender and symptomatic in areas of pressure and friction. The virus only affects the superficial layer of skin, producing a thickened callus-like growth that is thought to grow inwards but this is only perceived as such, as the pressure of standing on the sole does not allow these warts to protrude.

 

Although warts (verruca) characteristically resolve spontaneously, it is occasionally necessary to treat painful plantar warts. Plantar warts are seen in all age groups, but they are most common among children 12-16 years of age and rarely in the elderly.

 

Treatment methods used in the practice are:

  • Chemical treatments
  • Cryosurgery using liquid nitrogen
  • Diathermy Electrocautery treatments
  • Laser

 

In the practice, the approach to warts differ according to the area they are affecting on the foot. The age of the person affected also changes the treatment plan, as one’s pain threshold and healing rate needs to be considered when choosing a treatment method.


Some treatments are painful and require local analgesia. This is not done in the practice for young children.


Chemical wart treatments are used and often followed by liquid nitrogen treatments again this depends on the location of the wart.


The most common approach is a chemical treatment which is then followed by liquid nitrogen applications.