Plantar Wart Causes, Treatment, and Prevention
There are many popular myths about warts, which means that the truth behind these rather common viral growths isn’t quite so well-known. Here at Eagle-Summit Foot & Ankle, we hope to clear up some of the misconceptions and help you understand causes, treatment, and prevention methods for plantar warts.
Non-Amphibian Causes of Warts
The common myth that touching a frog will cause warts likely started because of the similarity between warts and the bumps found on certain toads. However, warts are not contracted by touching or handling a frog or toad with your bare skin. Instead, warts are due to a microscopic virus called human papillomavirus (HPV).
HPV tends to be found and thrive in areas that are damp and warm, like pool decks and locker room and communal shower floors. The virus requires only a tiny cut, weak spot, or break in the skin on the bottom (plantar) part of your foot to infect the body.
There are over 100 different strands of HPV, but only a few will cause a wart to grow on your skin. Further, a strand that causes a plantar wart for one person might not do the same for someone else—even siblings and other family members.
In most cases, the virus is not transmitted via direct contact between one person and another, but it is certainly possible. That said, warts can be passed along by touch, so it is important to be careful in this regard.
Symptoms, Including Wart “Seeds”
The bumpy growth tends to be the most obvious symptom. The specific appearance of a wart will vary, depending on what type it is. Plantar warts will typically be a rough, fleshy growth often located on the ball of the foot. Look closely at one and you will possibly see black spots. These are often called wart seeds, but this is actually another myth. Warts do not have seeds, and you are merely observing the ends of tiny, clotted blood vessels.
Plantar warts are generally harmless, but they can cause discomfort, tenderness, and even pain while walking or simply standing because they are located on the underside of your foot. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, or you notice a change in appearance or color, be sure to contact us and have our doctors examine it for you and determine if removal is the right approach.
The first matter of discussion for treating a wart is home care. There are over-the-counter wart treatment kits available for purchase, but there are a couple of problems with using this approach. First, these kits are not always effective at addressing the issue. Second, and more importantly, they come with the risk of damaging healthy skin around the wart.
Some people opt to perform home surgery, but this is a terrible idea! Since a wart is virus-based, cutting one does not necessarily eliminate the problem. Additionally, this increases the risk of sustaining a dangerous infection.
Instead of tackling the problem on your own, seek professional wart treatment from the experts. Our office is ready to use the right combination of treatment options for your specific case. Our doctors may use incision, injection therapy, or topical medication.
Plantar Wart Prevention
Preventing a plantar wart can avoid a lot of discomfort, frustration, and embarrassment. Some of the best tips for wart prevention include:
- Do not pick at or make direct skin contact with a wart.
- Keep your feet dry and clean.
- Change your footwear daily, especially your socks.
- When visiting gyms or indoor pools, always wear shower shoes or sandals when in the locker room, using communal showers, or while on deck.
Professional Plantar Wart Removal in Frisco and Avon, CO
Now that you understand plantar warts, where they come from, and what can be done about them, it is time to schedule your appointment for professional wart removal! Make an appointment at either of our Eagle-Summit Foot & Ankle offices and we will assess your condition and provide the appropriate care. Call (970) 949-0500 to connect with our Avon podiatry office or (970) 668-4565 to reach our Frisco, CO office. You can also request an appointment with either location online today.