A wart is an infection of the skin caused by a virus, and although it can happen anywhere on your body, it’s common to find them on the feet. Plantar warts are growths that occur on the bottom of the feet caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). While they can go away on their own with time, it is best to consult a podiatrist if you think you have one.
Signs of Plantar Warts
Plantar warts are recognized by their appearance. They appear as small, fleshy bumps on the soles of the feet that typically look like calluses. They may have black dots in them, which are actually blood vessels that have clustered together. This can often cause pain when standing or walking as they form thick layers of skin over the wart itself. Additionally, plantar warts may appear in clusters rather than singularly.
When Home Remedies for Warts Don't Work
Home remedies for plantar warts include using over-the-counter (OTC) products such as salicylic acid or duct tape, but they do not always work. In fact, some research suggests they are only as effective as placebo treatments. If you want to try OTC treatments first, make sure you follow instructions precisely and don’t use any type of acid treatment if you have diabetes or poor circulation in your feet. You should also avoid any home remedy that involves cutting or burning the wart because this can cause scarring and other complications.
When to See a Podiatrist
If OTC treatments aren’t working or if you want treatment right away, it may be time to see a podiatrist. Other signs that may indicate it is time to see a podiatrist include the following:
- The growth is bleeding or painful
- There are changes in the shape or color
- The growth returns and may be in multiples
- It is making it difficult to continue with your normal activities
- You have a weakened immune system or a condition such as diabetes
A podiatrist will assess the location, size, type, and number of warts before recommending a customized treatment plan. There are a variety of treatments available from your podiatrist to remove plantar warts and reduce the chances of recurrence. Additionally, they can examine your feet for any other issues and provide further advice about care and prevention methods.
Treatment Options for Plantar Warts
Common treatments for plantar warts include the following:
- Cryotherapy using liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart
- Laser therapy
- Surgery may be needed to remove larger warts
- Chemical peels using salicylic acid
- Oral medications such as cimetidine
Preventing Warts From Spreading
Warts are contagious, so it is important not to spread them from one place on your body to another or from person to person. If one person in your household has warts, then everyone should wear sandals or flip-flops in communal areas like bathrooms and showers until the condition clears up completely. You will also want to make sure everyone washes their hands regularly with soap and water, especially after touching warts, so that any virus particles can be washed away before coming into contact with someone else's skin.
Contact Our Office Today
Warts can be unsightly and embarrassing and often require medical attention if they will not go away on their own with home remedies or if they spread from one part of your body to another or to another person. If that is the case, it's best to visit a podiatry professional who will evaluate the situation properly and create an individualized treatment plan tailored just for you. Taking care of warts quickly means less chance of them spreading further, so do not wait too long before getting help. To schedule an appointment with our doctors at Fixing Feet Institute, contact our office by calling us at 623-584-5556 or fill out our contact form online, and one of our caring staff members will be in touch.