After walking around the pool or locker room, have you ever noticed a blister like obtrusion on the bottom of your foot? If you have, it might have been a plantar wart, which can develop in a variety of shapes and sizes. Appearing as a bump with a rough surface or even flat and smooth, plantar warts should not be ignored.
The Cause is Viral
Some people seem to be immune to the development of plantar warts, but children—especially teenagers—tend to be more susceptible than adults. Plantar warts are caused by a virus, which generally invades the skin through small or invisible cuts and abrasions. While warts can appear anywhere on the skin, ones found on the sole of the feet are properly called plantar warts.
Because the virus thrives in warm, moist environments, walking barefoot on dirty surfaces, such as communal bathing facilities, most often cause plantar warts to develop. If left untreated, plantar warts can grow to an inch or more in circumference and can spread into clusters, which are often called mosaic warts. Plantar warts can spread by touching, scratching or even by contact with skin shed from another wart. Occasionally, warts can disappear after a short time, and just as frequently, they can occur at the same location.
Preventing Plantar Warts
Some tips for preventing the development of plantar warts include:
- Avoid walking barefoot.
- Change shoes and socks daily.
- Keep feet clean and dry.
- Check children’s feet periodically.
- Avoid direct contact with warts – from other persons or from other parts of the body.
- Do not ignore growths on, or changes in, your skin.
- Visit your podiatrist as part of your annual health check-up.
Plantar Warts Treatment
If you are diagnosed with plantar warts your podiatrist will prescribe and supervise the use of a wart-removal preparation. More than likely, removal of warts by a simple surgical procedure, performed under local anesthetic, may be performed.
Self-treatment is generally not advised, because over the counter preparations contain acids or chemicals that destroy skin cells. It takes an expert to destroy the abnormal skin cells without causing harm to the surrounding healthy tissue. It is especially important to avoid self-treatment if you are diabetic or if you have a cardiovascular or circulatory disorder.
If you suspect you have a plantar wart, contact us at our Boca Raton office or our Boynton Beach office for further information. You can also click here to schedule an appointment online with Dr. Todd Pinsky, Dr. Ronnie Greissman, or Dr. Andrea Aedo at Family Foot Center.