Posts for tag: plantar warts
Oddly enough, there are a lot of Old Wives Tales and folk remedies surrounding warts. Perhaps you’ve even heard of some one them; however, if you end up dealing with one or clusters of these hard, skin-colored bumps you may be wondering how you got them and how to treat them. If you develop warts, particularly on the soles of your feet, this is something that your podiatrist can help you treat.
What are plantar warts?
All warts are the result of a virus that invades the skin through cuts or tiny open wounds. Warts, especially on the feet, can be mistaken for a corn or callus; however, unlike corns or calluses that often go away in a couple of weeks, it can take years for a wart to go away. During this time, warts can also spread to other areas of the body including the hands and face.
How do I know that I have plantar warts?
If you’ve never had a wart before you may not be able to distinguish this growth from other common foot problems. This is where a podiatrist can help. A foot doctor can diagnose warts through a simple physical exam. Plantar warts can cause pain, particularly when standing or walking. Patients who have diabetes or circulation problems in their feet should seek immediate medical care if they develop warts or experience any changes in their feet.
How are plantar warts treated?
While warts can go away on their own this can usually take years for the body to fight off the viral infection. Since plantar warts can be uncomfortable or even painful many people turn to a podiatrist to treat warts. The type of treatment that your foot doctor will recommend will depend on the size, amount and location of the wart or warts. Common wart treatments include:
- Medication: a special acid-based medication (e.g. salicylic acid) is applied to the skin where the acid will break down the wart. Several applications may be required over the course of several weeks in order to get rid of the wart.
- Freezing: sometimes warts can be frozen off through a procedure known as cryotherapy
- Curettage: this is the surgical removal of a wart using a special scalpel (local anesthesia is applied to the area to numb it before treatment)
- Laser: laser treatment can also be used to breakdown and destroy the wart
It’s important to protect your feet from potential reinfection. If you are prone to developing plantar warts then talk with your podiatrist about measures you can take to keep your feet healthy and free from infection.
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.
Many people don’t consider taking precautions when it comes to trying on new shoes at the store. Shoe store inventories can contain possible contaminants can include bacteria, fungi, and viruses left there from previous customers. Some of these contaminants can be contagious.
One such contaminant that is contagious is HPV, which is known for causing plantar warts. HPV may induce the growth of plantar warts, which can be very difficult to treat and get rid of. So be sure to wear socks and take the necessary precautions at the shoe store.
Plantar warts are always unwanted. If you have plantar warts, see podiatrist Dr. Brian Tedesco of Complete Foot & Ankle Care. Dr. Tedesco can treat your foot and ankle conditions with the professional care they need.
About Plantar Warts
Plantar warts are found on the feet. These warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) getting into open wounds on the feet. You can recognize plantar warts by a hard bump on the foot. They are usually found on the heels or balls of the feet. Plantar warts are usually not a sign of anything dangerous but do not ignore them if they do cause pain or embarrassment.
If you do have a plantar wart, you may notice some pain when standing but since these warts are not cancerous or dangerous, a podiatrist only needs to be seen if there is excess pain. Doctors can usually easily diagnose plantar warts. Although plantar warts don’t often call for treatment, there are options available. They can be frozen off, removed by an electric tool or burned off using laser treatment.
Home remedies are also available to help with plantar warts. An apple cider vinegar soak can help remove the wart. You can soak your feet in the vinegar for 20 minutes before using a pumice stone to remove any loose skin from the wart. Make sure to keep the wart covered for protection in between daily treatments.
For more information about Plantar Warts, follow the link below.
If you have any questions, please contact one of our offices in Reading, MA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.
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