Plantar warts are a type of wart that arises from a viral infection that’s caused by Human Papilloma Virus, or HPV. There are over one hundred different strains of HPV, of which only a handful can cause warts to appear on your feet. Other strains cause warts to appear on other areas of the body, such as the hands, genitals or even on your face. Below, we cover some of the top risk factors for plantar warts.
Top Risk Factors for Plantar Warts
Plantar warts are the specific name that is given to the warts that appear on one’s feet. These warts aren’t hazardous for one’s health, but are unseemly and can possibly cause pain and discomfort. If you’re interested in receiving professional foot wart treatment for plantar warts, take a look at this overview of the process.
Causes of Plantar Warts
HPV is a virus that is transmitted through either direct or indirect contact. This means that it is possible to get it directly from someone who has the virus. In addition, it is also possible to get the virus by touching surfaces or clothing that have also touched the warts of someone who is infected.
That being said, not everyone who comes in contact with the virus will eventually develop warts. This is due to the fact that each person’s immune system responds to the presence of viral infection differently.
HPV virus thrives in warm and most environments, which makes it common to be picked up from communal areas that experience high levels of skin contact. Examples include public showers and gyms.
There are certain risk factors that can make one more predisposed to becoming infected by the HPV virus. Some of the following are included:
- Those with a weakened immune system
- Those with cuts, injuries, and skin infections (especially on the feet)
- People who have regular contact with someone who has warts
- Children and teenagers
Symptoms of Plantar Warts
There is no one way that a plantar wart presents itself. These warts can take all kinds of forms. Because it is a viral infection, there are tiny blood vessels that grow at the core of the wart. These vessels provide the wart with blood and nutrients. They often appear as dark spots in the center of the wart.
Because plantar warts often appear at the bottom of one’s feet, it is quite common to experience pain from them. The pressures that are applied to different parts of the feet may apply to the wart,
which has the potential to cause some discomfort. Some of the common symptoms that indicate the presence of a plantar wart include:
- A small lesion appears on the sole of the feet
- The lesion has a solid border
- The lesion has a hard skin with a yellowish appearance
- The lesion causes pain when walking
- There are black dark spots in the lesion
Diagnosing Plantar Warts
There are several ways that one can attempt to diagnose a plantar wart. One of the most common ways to differentiate a wart from a corn is through a method called the squeeze test. If you squeeze the sides of a growth from either side and it causes pain, then the growth is most likely a wart and not a corn.
Of course, your chance of accurately diagnosing whether something is a wart or not greatly increases when the growth is observed by a trained podiatrist. Experts like these are able to accurately diagnose issues like these and subsequently offer a recommendation for treatment.
Oftentimes, warts go away on their own without the need for treatment. However, patients often request the removal of plantar warts due to the fact that these warts can be very painful thanks to their presence at the bottom of one’s feet. Some of the most common forms of treatment for plantar warts include:
- Sharp debridement: this type of treatment removes the hard outer layer or wart tissue with a sharp instrument.
- Burning the wart away with mildly acidic material
- Utilizing cryotherapy to freeze off the wart
- Swift therapy: Swift therapy uses a medical microwave technology that is very effective at resolving warts.
In some cases, a mild surgery can be performed to completely remove the plantar wart from the body. These operations can be performed using local anesthetic, and oftentimes result in the successful removal of the wart in question. Ask your podiatrist if this is an option for you.
The Podiatrist Ventura Trusts
Foot & Ankles Concepts, Inc. is the local podiatrist for patients in Ventura who are looking to have issues with their feet settled efficiently and comprehensively. If you’re suffering from plantar warts and would like to look into having this issue resolved, contact us today to set up an appointment.