One of the conditions that patients frequently come to New England Foot & Ankle Specialists for is warts. Although warts are not often harmful, they can be quite painful and grow and spread to other parts of the body as well, if left untreated.
What Causes Warts?
Warts are caused by a virus that can enter the skin on your foot through the tiniest of cuts or abrasions. The virus is spread by direct contact. That means that walking barefoot in public places like gyms, community pools, showers and locker rooms and sharing socks or shoes with others are prime opportunities for being exposed to the virus that causes warts. There are two kinds of warts that affect the feet:
Foot warts—these can appear anywhere on the foot or toes. They are usually fleshy and raised and sometimes mistaken for calluses or corns initially. Foot warts can grow to an inch or more across or spread and develop into clusters of warts. Sometimes foot warts will disappear and then return in the same location.
Plantar warts or verrucas—these warts are opposite in appearance to foot warts. They are usually hard and flat and will have a rough surface with pinpoints of black in the center. Plantar warts most often form on the soles of the feet and tend to be more painful because they are bearing the weight of your body when you walk on them.
What Can be Done About Warts?
Warts can be very resistant to treatment. Although there are over-the-counter products available to treat them, these are often ineffective. If you notice a wart on your foot, contact our Reading office and have one of our podiatrists, Dr. George A. Abboud, Dr. Brian D. Tedesco, Dr. Carl Conui, or Dr. Kimberly Thurmond examine it. Treatment options include prescription ointments and medications, laser cautery and freezing. The foot doctor will be able to determine the most effective treatment for your wart.