Plantar Warts 101

The Where, What and Why of Warts

Although warts are often associated with witches and toads, they actually are quite common in us normal human beings, especially kids and teens. Caused by the human papillomavirus or HPV, these skin growths can appear just about anywhere and while harmless can at times be painful, especially if found on the bottom of the foot. There are two main types of warts that appear on the feet:

Common: Found mostly on the toes these are rough, gray and rounded at the top.

Plantar: These occur on the bottom of the foot, typically in weight bearing areas. Pressure forces this type to grow inward instead of outward. They usually have a tiny dark spot in the middle surrounded by hardened skin. Understandably, these can become painful when walking.

Warts Gone Wild

Any type of wart can be contagious. The virus can sneak into the tiniest of abrasions and transfer from socks and shoes, shared surfaces, towels and even by touching the affected area then touching something else. Once HPV (human papillomavirus) takes hold, layers of dead skin begin to build forming a wart and if left untreated, can enlarge or spread to form clusters called mosaics. Sometimes warts can eventually go away on their own however, treating the problem will lower the risk of it spreading.

Warding Off Warts

There are plenty of over-the-counter options including topical remedies and medicated pads. Ones containing salicyclic acid are best. Keep in mind that it can take weeks of daily treatment before you see results. If your treatment failed or if you are tired of dealing with the wart, give Prairie Path Podiatry a call at (630) 845-3338 or fill out our online form. Depending on the severity of the situation, we may have to provide more than one treatment but this is typically successful. Laser treatment is a highly effective method to treat warts. This method uses concentrated beams of light to pinpoint the problem and eradicate the virus at its source. If all else fails, we can forward you for surgical removal of the wart. It’s important to note here, that you should never try to use a file or cut away a wart on your own, especially if you have diabetes as this can open the door to infection.

Put a Prevention Plan in Place

If you have a wart, don’t pick at it or touch it. Cover it with a bandage to protect from the possibility of spreading the virus. Wash your hands if you come in contact with a wart and keep your feet clean and dry. Never share footwear or towels and be sure to wear shower shoes or sandals when walking in communal facilities with moist environments such as gym locker rooms,  showers, pools, and saunas.

For more information, or if you need help treating warts, call (630) 845-3338 to reach our Geneva, IL office and we will be happy to assist you. Prairie Path Podiatry can also be reached by using our online contact form.

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