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Warts and Verrucae

These horny growths on the skin are due to a virus infection and commonly occur on the hands or feet. When they occur on the hands they are known as warts, and on the feet they are known as verrucae.

Verrucae are particularly 'catching' and swimming baths and bathrooms are places where they are most easily spread because the moist, warm atmosphere is just right for this infection to be passed from child to child. Some swimming baths hold foot inspections, and will not allow in any child with a verruca. Others insist that special 'verrucae-socks' are worn if a verruca is present. It is as well to try and cure your child's verrucae quickly as valuable swimming lessons can be missed. No one ever died from a verruca, but many children die each year through not being able to swim.

Treatment for warts and verrucae

There are several methods of treating these unsightly ( on the hands ) and painful ( on the feet ) infections.

A special ointment, applied regularly, will gradually cure the wart. Applying a piece of sticking plaster continuously for three weeks or so will again result in a cure, by excluding air from the infected skin. For large, persistent warts, carbon dioxide 'snow' treatment, or cutting them out is sometimes necessary. But rather than resort to this latter treatment, try the simpler forms and if they fail go to see your doctor.

Warts on the hands can be treated with ointment and sticking plaster in a similar manner to verrucae. It is important to treat a simple wart as soon as it appears, otherwise spread can occur. This can be embarrassing for teenagers, who are particularly sensitive to skin problems.

There are a multitude of old wives' remedies for the cure of warts, such as burying steak, or a potato, in the garden at a full moon, after rubbing them over the affected part, or putting saliva or radishes on the wart. These 'remedies' are of themselves of little value, but the psychological boost these acts give are often sufficient to cause the body's natural defence mechanisms to come into full play, producing a cure.

     
     

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