Warts that appear on feet, also known as plantar warts, can be embarrassing and frustrating. They can even be painful if they’re located in a weight-bearing location, such as the heel or the ball of the foot. In some circumstances they can even become ingrown beneath a thick callus, or force you to alter your walking gait in ways that can lead to chronic pain or injury.
Although most warts are not medically dangerous, most people want to get rid of them as quickly as possible—not only because they’re uncomfortable, but also to prevent them from multiplying across your foot, or spreading to other members of your family.
At Precision Foot and Ankle, we can help you clear up your foot warts so your feet look and feel their best.
How to Identify a Plantar Wart
Warts appear as grainy, fleshy bumps or growths that disrupt the normal lines of the foot, usually with a black “pinpoint” in the center. (Sometimes erroneously called “wart seeds,” these are simply clotted blood vessels under the skin.)
When warts appear on the hands or elsewhere on the body, they often are raised. However, foot warts in weight bearing areas may become flattened due to pressure, and even covered by a hard callus. Standing and walking may become tender or painful, and in severe cases you may even develop lesions or bleeding.
What Causes Plantar Warts?
Warts are caused by various strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV. The virus can enter your system through microscopic cuts or weak points in the top layers of your skin, and if your immune system can’t fight it off, a wart may develop. Children, older adults, and those with weakened immune systems are especially susceptible.
The virus tends to congregate in humid environments, such as pool decks, locker rooms, and inside sweaty pairs of shoes. Avoid walking barefoot in public, sharing unwashed towels or linens, or wearing damp shoes and socks.
Do I Need to Remove My Plantar Warts?
First things first. If your warts aren’t bothering you, doing nothing is an option. Most go away on their own in time, although it could take a couple of years.
However, this is usually not recommended for a couple of reasons. Warts can be contagious and spread to other parts of your body, or in rare cases, to others. And the more warts you have, the more difficult it may be to remove all of them.
Beyond that, wart removal treatment is usually fairly simple and successful. So in order to avoid possible complications or just to improve the appearance of your feet quickly, most people prefer to have their warts removed.
How Are Warts Treated?
The best way to get rid of your plantar warts is to visit a podiatrist like Dr. Tenenboym. Home remedies and non-prescription wart kits are usually ineffective and may sometimes cause collateral damage to your skin. We can help you remove your warts safely and effectively.
Treatment options include peeling medication, freezing medicine, or in severe cases surgical excision. Each treatment option has its pros and cons. In general, the less invasive the treatment option, the more appointments might be required to fully eradicate the wart.
We will always take as much time as needed to talk with you about your symptoms and how long you’ve had your warts, whether they’ve gotten worse over time, discuss your expectations, and evaluate your condition carefully so that can pursue the treatment plan that makes the most sense for your personal situation.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Dennis Tenenboym, winner of a Pinellas Park Award and a Top Doctor Award, and the team at Precision Foot & Ankle in Pinellas Park, please fill out our contact form or give us a call at (727) 399-7167 today.