Plantar warts are like an uninvited house guest on your feet. They might not cause much harm but having to see them and deal with them daily is enough to drive you bonkers!
And then there are cases when they do start to cause a lot of discomfort, and then you really know its time to boot them out for good.
What Do Plantar Warts Look Like?
Plantar warts are a very common skin condition that can take on a few different appearances. Typical symptoms of plantar warts can include:
- Small, rough, grainy growths on the bottom of the foot—usually where the foot makes contact with the ground (heel, forefoot, and base of the toes). You will often see these growths interrupt the lines and ridges that naturally appear along your toes and feet.
- Small, black spots on or along these growths. Some people call these “seeds,” but they are actually tiny blood vessels that have been disturbed by the warts and have since clotted.
- Calluses that have formed over areas of warts on the skin. These are more common if a wart has grown deeper within the foot.
- Pain or tenderness if the warts are aggravated by walking. (Pain is not always a factor, however.)
Whether your case shows only one or two symptoms, and no matter if they hurt or not, these unsightly growths are still worthy of treatment.
Who Is Most Likely to Get Plantar Warts?
Plantar warts are caused by a viral infection—a strain of the human papillomavirus (HPV), to be specific. Usually, the skin itself and our immune systems are enough to keep the virus from taking root. However, sometimes we just don’t have the needed elements to stop an infection.
Those with weaker or underdeveloped immune systems are more likely to contract plantar warts. This includes children, the elderly, and those who have immune deficiencies.
Another factor that increases the risk of plantar warts is exposure. Places where there are bare feet, moisture, and warmth are environments that allow plantar warts to more easily spread. These include locations such as gyms, public pools, locker rooms, and yoga or martial arts studios. Your shower at home can even be a spot of potential transmission if someone in your family has the infection.
How Do You Get Rid of Plantar Warts?
There is some good news. In most cases, plantar warts will go away on their own.
The bad news is that this often takes a year (or even longer) to happen! If your warts are causing you pain or you want them gone now, waiting is not your best option.
Total Foot & Ankle has treatments for taking care of plantar warts much sooner. Options may include prescription strength peeling medicines that may be applied in-office or at home. Cryotherapy or minor surgery might also be options.
If you have plantar warts, please give one of our offices a call to explore your treatment options:
- Oklahoma City – (405) 947-8041
- Enid – (580) 237-3338
In the meantime, keep in mind that you want to prevent transmission of the virus when possible. That means not picking at your warts (and washing your hands thoroughly anytime you have to touch them). It might also mean limiting the contact your warts have in the shower. Wearing shower sandals or applying a waterproof bandage over your warts can help with this.