What is Plantar Warts?

A wart is a thickened and elevated small growth of skin that develops when the skin becomes infected by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts can develop anywhere on the foot, but typically occur on areas of direct pressure under the foot, such as the ball and the heel. 

They are usually painless and go away on their own, sometimes taking months to resolve, but can take up to 2 years in children, and several years in adults. 

Hard and thick callus can grow over the wart lesions as they grow inward and make them more painful.  Clotted blood vessels or as they are commonly called “wart seeds” present as black dots at the base of the lesions.

As it grows in areas that can handle more pressure, it can cause the wart to grow inward beneath a hard and thick layer of skin, becoming calluses. 

Causes and Risk Factors

The warts develop when the human papillomavirus (HPV) enters through tiny cuts, breaks or weak spots on the sole of the foot. But only a few HPV viruses cause warts on the feet. 

Not everyone who gets in touch with the virus develops warts, since every reaction is different. So, this virus isn’t as easy to spread by contact from one person to another.

However, the virus thrives in warm and moist places, so it is more likely to get the plantar warts walking barefoot around pools, locker rooms, lakes or any place that has these characteristics. 

 

What are the most common risk factors? 

It usually develops in children and teenagers, especially if they had them before. But also those who have a weak immune system or those who have the habit to walk barefoot. 

A plantar wart may lead you to muscle and joint discomfort when they cause pain. It may alter your normal posture and change the way you walk or stand. 

Go see your care provider or book an appointment with us if you realize any of those changes. 

 

Symptoms

Plantar warts can become painful, and it is one of the first symptoms you may notice. Another symptoms includes: 

  • Hard and thick skin on the sole of your foot (callus);
  • Black dots, that are dried blood in the capillaries and around the wart;
  • White or skin-colored lesions on the bottom of your foot;
  • A small and rough growth on your foot, typically at the base of your toes or the ball or heel.

Treatments and how to prevent

How to prevent Plantar Warts?

You can prevent them by avoiding contact with warts, even your own. Always wash your hands after touching them. 

You can also: 

  • Keep your feet always clean and dry;
  • Wear sandals or other shoes when walking in warm and moist places;
  • Never scratch your warts;
  • When having a footcare, never use the same equipment that you usually use on your healthy skin and nails. 

Treatments for Plantar Warts

In most cases a biopsy will be done to confirm the diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is established, the first step is typically a strong chemical based medicine that causes the skin where the wart lives to peel off. 

As that dead skin is removed, the wart is removed with it. This typically takes multiple treatments.

Liquid nitrogen can also be used to freeze the wart. Liquid nitrogen is applied to the wart and a blister forms. This dead tissue is removed and the wart is removed with it. This also requires multiple treatments. 

Laser can be used to kill the wart by directing the laser beam at the wart and hitting it with a high dose of laser. This also must be repeated. Lastly, surgical removal is an option if all other methods fail.

Here at Pathak Podiatry, we offer a wide range of customizable treatments for your condition from cryotherapy to surgical removal, if all other treatments fail. Those options includes: 

  • Biopsy;
  • Chemical Treatment;
  • Cryotherapy;
  • Surgery;
  • SWIFT.

Book an appointment with us online and start the right treatment for you right away!

FAQ

How is an ankle sprain different from a fracture?

A fracture is a break in the bone or bones of the ankle while a sprain is an injury to the ligaments. These are differentiated through a series of tests. Your podiatrist will take x-rays to look for broken bones. If not broken bones are found they may order an MRI or CT scan to evaluate the other structures in your ankle to identify where your injuries are.

If it's just a sprain do I really need to see a doctor?

Yes, seeing a doctor to identify exactly which ligaments are injured and getting the proper bracing system put in place will be key to recovering from an ankle sprain. Ankle sprains must be treated as soon as possible after the injury for best results. Inappropriate or inadequate care of an ankle fracture can result in long term ankle pain, swelling, and repeated ankle sprains for life.

I sprain my ankle a lot. Is there something I can do?

Chronic ankle sprains indicate that you may have some weakness or loose ligaments in your ankle. This is a common and painful problem that often arises from an ankle sprain that did not heal properly. You should see your podiatrist for testing to identify which structures are weakened. Often a brace and physical therapy can significantly aid in preventing these injuries. If the issue continues surgical tightening of the ligaments may be necessary to restore proper function.