Plantar warts are small, rough, round growths that are medically known as verrucae and present on the bottom of the foot. They’re caused by a virus called the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) in the outer skin layer and are often contracted in childhood. Once you’ve contracted the virus, you’ll always have it in your system, so plantar warts may pop up spontaneously throughout your lifetime.
The HPV virus is spread through direct contact. If you have a break in the skin, like a small cut or graze, then you may contract the virus through sharing the same surface like a shower or a floor. Immune systems do respond differently and not everyone that comes in contact with the virus will develop plantar warts. Similarly, a weakened immune system may make you more susceptible. Because the virus thrives in warm, moist environments, it is often contracted in changing rooms, at public swimming pools and at gyms.
How are plantar warts treated?
Because plantar warts are a virus, they can be difficult to treat and can recur spontaneously. Your podiatrist will be able to advise you on the best treatment option for you based on your symptoms and medical history. Treatments can include:
- Topical chemicals and medications such as salicylic acid
- Silver nitrate
- Dry needling
- Occlusion therapy
- Cryotherapy, or freezing the warts off
- Heat therapy, or burningthe warts off
- Surgery to remove the wart
What are the signs and symptoms?
Plantar warts are relatively small and often have a rounded but rough-edged appearance. Other signs include:
- Small black pinpoint dots (blood vessels)
- Bumps over the surface of the warts
- Present singularly on in multiples
- The lines of the skin of the foot go through the wart
- May be covered by callus
- Pain when squeezing the wart from the sides
- Pain or tenderness when walking
For more information on Warts or to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us today on 0417 648 888.