Plantar warts are referred to as a viral skin condition caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Plantar warts often occur at the bottom side of the feet or toes. They are also classified as benign epithelial tumors. It is essential to understand that most plantar warts do not pose a serious health concern, and usually subside without treatment if you are healthy and have an active lifestyle.
Causes of Plantar Warts
The virus is responsible for plantar warts and usually spread by direct and indirect contact from a person infected from it. The virus attacks the weakened and compromised skin of a host by direct contact. Tiny cuts and abrasions in our outermost layer of skin (stratum corneum), are susceptible and defenseless to the HPV virus. Warts also spread by autoinoculation’s viral process, which means that the virus also infects nearby skin and walking surfaces.
Symptoms of Plantar Warts
Symptoms of the HPV Plantar warts are seen after several weeks of contact; this is because the virus is pushed inward deeper into the skin with the pressure of walking, and a layer of skin is developed around the infected zone.
In the beginning, the color of plantar warts is typically similar to that of the skin color. After some time, small dots begin to appear on the skin; these dots start to hurt when walking or standing.
Below we have listed the most common symptoms of Plantar Warts:
- Pain and tenderness when walking or standing.
- Small, rough, fleshy, grainy growth (lesion) on the bottom surface of your foot most commonly at the base of the toes and the forefoot or the heel.
- The skin feels hard with thickened callus formation around the well-defined spot, where the wart has grown inward.
- Black spots formed as a result of clotted blood vessels.
- Lesions that interrupt the normal ridges and lines of your foot’s skin.
Prevention from Plantar Warts
In order to prevent plantar warts on feet, it is recommended to avoid direct contact with surfaces that might have been contaminated with the HPV virus.
- Avoid direct contact with the floor of gym showers; instead, use your flip flops.
- Do not share towels.
- Do not share shoes or socks.
Treatment of Plantar Warts
Most plantar warts go away without medical intervention, although this process is prolonged and can take up to a year or two. Cures for plantar warts include over-the-counter medications and conservative home remedies. Plantar warts may, however, return later even after repeated treatments.
If conservative treatments do not work and warts keep on returning, then following options are available.
- Removal of plantar warts by stronger peeling medicine –your doctor may prescribe a particular wart medication with salicylic acid. These special medications work by removing layers of the wart at every application.
- Freezing plantar warts is also known as cryotherapy, and it involves the use of liquid nitrogen on plantar warts. The chemical causes the creation of a blister around the wart and falls off in a week or two. Your doctor may need you to make repeat visits at the clinic for repeated cryotherapy to ensure complete removal of plantar warts.
- Laser treatment of plantar warts – using laser technology, the affected area is burned with the beam, causing the tissue to die and eventually fall off. Your doctor may require you to have repeated treatments every three to four weeks.
There is also a surgical option for the complete removal of plantar warts. The surgical option is only considered after all other options have failed. The surgeon uses an electric needle (electrodesiccation and curettage) to cut away the wart during the procedure. The process is painful so that the surgeon may numb the skin before the procedure.
Call us now to book an appointment with an expert podiatrist at Complete Medical Wellness.
What Are Plantar Warts?
- Plantar warts are small growths caused by the HPV virus and usually appear on the foot’s bottom.
- They are also classified as benign epithelial tumors.
How to Remove Plantar Warts?
- The application of medications with salicylic acid usually subsides plantar warts.
- Your doctor may prescribe laser treatment for plantar warts. In this case, the affected area is burned with the beam, causing the tissue to die and eventually fall off.
How to Treat Plantar Warts?
- There are various treatment modalities available, like removing plantar warts by stronger peeling medicine, freezing plantar warts, laser treatment of plantar warts, and surgical options.
- Your doctor will recommend the best treatment for you after careful examination.