Plantar Warts

What are Warts? Warts are an infection of the skin caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). The virus enters the body through a break in the skin (such as a cut) and then forms a rough bump on the surface of the skin. Warts are benign (non-cancerous) growths.

Anyone can get warts, but they are more common among children because they frequently have scrapes and cuts. The elderly also get warts more frequently because they have a weaker immune system.

Warts are very contagious. They can easily be transmitted from one person to another by coming into direct contact with a wart or with something – such as a locker room floor or a towel – that has been in contact with a wart.

What are Plantar Warts? A plantar wart is a wart that occurs on the sole (plantar) of the foot, most often on the parts of the sole that receive pressure when standing or walking. Because of this pressure, plantar warts are often flat or grow inward. Plantar warts can appear alone or in a cluster (mosaic warts).

Plantar warts are usually small. They tend to grow slowly and can eventually penetrate deep enough into the skin to cause discomfort or pain.

What are the symptoms of Plantar Warts? People who get plantar warts may feel as if they have a stone in their shoe. Because of their flat appearance and location on the bottom of the foot, plantar warts are frequently mistaken for calluses. Like calluses, plantar warts have tough, thick skin. However, unlike calluses, a plantar wart is painful when squeezed. A plantar wart may also have black dots on its surface. These dots are from the dilated blood vessels in the wart.

 How are Plantar Warts diagnosed? The doctor will diagnose a plantar wart by examining the foot and the wart and noting any symptoms the patient may have.

How are Plantar Warts treated? Plantar warts often go away on their own after a certain amount of time. However, since these warts are frequently painful, the patient may want to have them treated right away. In order to successfully treat a plantar wart and reduce the chances of it coming back, it must be removed completely

Can Plantar Warts be prevented? There is no foolproof way to prevent plantar warts. However, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of getting them. HPV thrives in warm and humid areas. In order to reduce the risk of getting plantar warts, it is important to:

  • wear flip flops or sandals when you use a public locker room, public pool area, or public showers;
  • not touch or come in contact with another person’s wart;
  • not scratch or pick at the wart;
  • keep items such as clothing and towels that may come into contact with the wart away from others in the house. 

Can Plantar Warts come back after being treated? There is no practical way to keep plantar warts or any other types of warts from occurring again. A plantar wart may reappear near the location of the one that was treated, may show up on another part of the sole, or may never occur again.

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