Experts explain the causes behind common foot symptoms. This week, a blemish or lump on the foot.
Possible causes are corns or verrucas. The quickest test is to pinch the skin, says podiatric surgeon Gary Boon. “If it hurts, but pressing it is painless, it’s a verruca. Corns are the opposite – they hurt when pressed, not when pinched. You may also see small black dots in a verruca, while corns are yellow.
- Corns develop from hard tissue on the top of and in between the toes, and under the balls of the feet. Common causes are poorly fitting footwear, prominent bones and pressure on feet. But don’t bother with corn plasters. If the hole in the plaster is bigger than the corn, you transfer the treatment onto healthy skin, making it sore. A podiatrist can treat the corn and apply proper padding.
- Verrucas are caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which thrives in moist, damp environments such asswimming pools. It’s thought some people are more susceptible because of their immune system. Many verrucas disappear on their own, or try an over-the-counter ointment or gel. Or, gently rub away the dry skin using a pumice stone or emery board. A podiatrist will try an acid-based treatment or freeze the verruca at three-weekly intervals