What Are Plantar Warts?
Plantar warts are warts that are only found on the feet, hence the term “plantar”, which means “relating to the sole of the foot.” They are caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV, and occur when this virus gets into open wounds on the feet. The warts themselves are hard bumps on the foot and easily recognizable, mostly found on the heels or ball of the foot. They can be flat or raised, and usually occur in dry, cracked areas of the foot. For the most part, plantar warts are non-malignant, but they can cause some pain, discomfort, and are often unsightly, so having a trained podiatrist from TCFA remove them is often the first step taken.
Symptoms can include: legions on the bottom of your feet (usually rough and grainy), hard or thick callused spots, wart seeds (small clotted blood vessels that look like little black spots), pain, discomfort, or tenderness of your feet when walking or standing.
Plantar warts can cause some pain while standing, sometimes felt as tenderness on the sole of your foot. Unless the wart has grown into the foot behind a callus, you will be able to see the fleshy wart. Because plantar warts are not cancerous or dangerous, a podiatrist should only be consulted if there is an excess amount of pain associated with having them, if they are affecting your walking, or if they continually come back. However, anyone who suffers from diabetes or a compromised immune system disease should seek out care immediately.
TCFA podiatrists are easily able to diagnose plantar warts. They usually scrape off a tiny bit of the rough skin in order to make tiny blood clots visible and show the inside of these warts. However, a biopsy can be done if the doctor is not able to diagnose them from simply looking at them.
Although plantar warts usually do not require an excessive amount of treatment, there are ways to go about removing them. A common method is to freeze them off using liquid nitrogen, removing them using an electrical tool, or burning them off via laser treatment. For a less invasive treatment option, topical creams can be used through a doctor’s prescription, which may help given enough time and patience. Keep the wart covered for protection in between daily treatments.
The best way to avoid developing plantar warts is to avoid walking barefoot in public places, especially when you have open sores or cuts on your feet. It is also important to avoid direct contact with any other warts you might have or warts other people might have, as they are highly contagious.