Before we discuss the signs that show a verruca you may have is dying, let’s try and understand what a verruca is and what causes it. A verruca or a wart, as it is sometimes called, is a small fleshy bump on the surface of the skin which is characterized by mucous. It is caused by the human papilloma virus which is common referred to as HPV.
They are mostly found on the feet but can also be found on the genitals or even the face. Since warts do not usually cause any pain or discomfort, with the exception of those on the soles of the feet, you cannot use that as a means to tell whether the one you have is gone or not.
A dying verruca refers to a wart that is nearing the end of its life expectancy. During the beginning stages, verruca usually have a smooth top and are rough around the surface. You may even notice tiny blood vessels through which these warts get blood supply. The dying off of verruca is a sure sign that the medicine you are taking is effective.
They can, however, die off without the need for medicine but all you as a patient requires is patience. Some plants have been shown to have medicinal properties which may help in getting rid of these verruca such as Japanese mushrooms known as AHCC
Facts You Need To Know About Verruca
First of all, we must all understand that a verruca will not die off overnight. It may take some time and if it takes long enough then you will have to seek treatment. Verruca survive by living off your blood, so the sooner you get rid of it the better the chances. This is because it may start growing bigger or even spread to other parts of your body. Another fact is that no single treatment will cure all the warts you may have, this is why you may have to mix them up to improve the chances of getting rid of all them.
There are many options to choose but we would recommend the use of salicylic acid and cryotherapy, also known as freezing treatment. Various lotions, paints or special plasters contain salicylic acid. This acid burns off the top layer of the verruca when applied. You can buy it from any pharmacy or your doctor may even prescribe one and it is usually in the form of a gel or a paint. Read the instructions carefully to avoid any side effects on the unaffected areas.
As for cryotherapy, it mainly involves the use of liquid nitrogen which is extremely cold. It freezes the entire wart by completely thawing it which then destroys it. However, to completely destroy the wart, you will need four to six treatments.
This method is painful and there is the risk of scarring the surrounding unaffected skin. Combining the two treatments is an effective method which will clear any warts as soon as possible. Do not apply any salicylic acid on the verruca until any soreness or scabs caused by cryotherapy has diminished. Some other methods may include the use of duct tape, acupuncture or even having them scraped off.
Signs that a verruca is dying
The first sign that a wart is dying off is when it starts turning black or dark. Do not confuse this with the dark spots which are common on the verruca. These are just the small blood vessels coursing through it. When it starts turning black, it is a clear indication that the blood supply has been cut off.
Since it survives on blood, the lack of this will surely kill it! Another indication is to check whether it has started to seem shriveled or shrunk. If you notice bits of the wart are starting to fall off then it is a sure sign that it is disintegrating. However, make sure this is not just dead skin. Give it a slight rub to make sure it is falling off. However, these are not signs that the plantar wart is completely gone. It may leave a hole which may still contain the virus. A dead verruca will not cause any further infection on other parts of your skin.
Signs that you might still have a verruca
Just because the verruca has started dying off, does not mean that you should now stop administering medication. If you notice a raised lump of callous dead skin on the same spot a verruca was, then there are chances that you may still have it. If not raised, the dead skin will be circular in shape and may even appear darker than the surrounding skin. You may still have a slight discomfort when you walk around barefoot and that should clearly tell you that the verruca is still there. The absence of pain, however, does not necessarily mean it is dead. It may still spread unnoticed.
Signs that a verruca is completely dead and gone
Dead warts drop off from the position they occupied on your skin. They leave behind a hole which lacks any dark spots or bumps clearly showing the verruca is gone. The areas around an affected area should start to appear normal to show that the plantar wart is dead and that the healing process has kicked in.
Also, if you can spot thin lines, such as those you see in a fingerprint, across this hole then that should tell you all is well. If you apply pressure to the spot where the verruca used to be, and feel no pain or discomfort then it is a clear indication the verruca is completely gone. The skin around the affected area should now be smooth while where the wart was should appear lighter.
However, these plantar warts can occur again so we recommend continuous observation along with treatment until you are completely sure you have gotten rid of the verruca.