What is a plantar wart?

A plantar wart is a type of growth on the skin of the feet. The word “plantar” indicates that this category of wart is found on the sole of the foot. They are not cancerous, and are actually caused by a virus entering the body through the skin. Cuts and sores are often entry points for the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes this type of wart. Because these growths typically develop on the parts of the sole where there is a lot of pressure (such as the heel and ball of the feet), these warts can become painful.

Some people are alarmed when they learn that plantar warts are caused by HPV. However, it is important to understand that the virus only affects the skin, and does not enter the bloodstream as it does with other types of HPV. These warts are not extremely contagious, and are not easily spread through skin-to-skin contact. Children, teens, and people who have compromised immune systems are often more susceptible.

What does a plantar wart look like?

Warts can grow inward or outward. If they grow inward, a callus will often develop over the area, and you will be able to see a spot. An outward growing wart will be more raised. Sometimes, there are tiny black specks that are referred to as “seeds”. Actually, these are blood vessels that show up under the skin when they form clots.

I take good care of my feet. How did I get this plantar wart?

Foot care has little to do with developing a plantar wart. Instead, it’s more about footwear. Many people come into contact with the virus when they are in public places like swimming pools and locker rooms—barefoot! The humid conditions of these places create the perfect breeding ground for viruses. Wearing sandals or flip flops is an easy way to protect your feet.

You’re also more susceptible to these warts if you have cuts or sores on your feet. Even the tiniest crack in the skin can give the HPV virus a place to grow.

What should I do if I have a plantar wart?

In many cases, warts will go away on their own with some time. However, if you have an illness that affects your immune system or diabetes, you should not wait—see your doctor right away.

Home care options include over-the-counter methods such as pads, acid, and freezing products. It’s important to read the directions carefully, because some of these products can damage the skin if misused.

If you are experiencing pain, you should call the office of Lawrence Kales DPM to make an appointment. Foot pain due to a wart can causes changes in your gait, which can throw the whole body out of alignment. Don’t delay seeking treatment. Plantar warts can be stubborn, so Podiatrist Kales will examine your foot and determine the best course of action. Remember, you should never tolerate pain in your feet. Call either the Hudson or Spring Hill, Florida locations today to make an appointment, or schedule online.