One common reason patients come to Lansdowne Podiatry is for the treatment and removal of warts. Although not generally harmful, warts are caused by a virus, which makes them contagious. Foot warts appear as an unattractive, fleshy, raised bump on the skin. While a wart may not be causing you any discomfort, and may even go away on its own, left untreated it can grow bigger or spread and form a cluster of warts. That’s why our podiatrist Dr. Monique Renee Rolle recommends getting all warts evaluated and treated.
One specific kind of wart that may cause pain or discomfort is a plantar wart. These warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) and usually form on the soles of the feet. They are flatter in appearance and less fleshy than regular foot warts and are also identifiable by the tiny black pinpricks visible in the center of the wart. Plantar warts can grow deep down into the skin. Since they are on the bottom of the foot, these warts can cause pain due to the pressure put on them by walking and standing.
Prevention and Treatment
Viruses thrive in warm, moist environments and are spread by direct contact. Some ways to avoid warts include:
- Don’t walk barefoot in areas where germs and viruses are likely to be, such as public pools, gym locker rooms and showers, beachside changing areas
- Don’t share socks or shoes with other people
- If you get pedicures in a salon, make sure that foot baths and tools are properly sanitized between customers
- Avoid touching other parts of your body if you have touched a wart on your foot
- Keep feet clean and dry
While there are over-the-counter wart treatments, these may prove ineffective and can take a long time to work. Never try to remove a wart on your own. The foot doctor will know the best treatment for your wart. There are several options, including topical and oral medications, cryotheraphy (freezing), laser cautery, and surgery.