You feel something on the bottom of your foot. It’s not a blister. It feels like something else. Chances are that you might have a plantar wart, also known as a foot wart. No, you don’t get these by stepping on areas that toads or frogs walked on before. It’s actually a pretty well-known virus that is behind it.
The good news is that they don’t do lasting harm, provided your feet are in good shape and you are not affected by certain pre-existing medical conditions beforehand.
What They Are
A foot wart, also known as a plantar wart, is caused by the HPV virus. If your feet have tiny cuts or other weak spots, then that is a perfect entry point for the virus to come and settle in. They tend to be more annoying than a serious health problem and they often go away on their own. You will see a small growth on your foot, and there are also black pinpoints (small clotted blood vessels), lesions, or you may feel pain when you walk.
The thing about these warts is that since they are in an area where you tend to put a lot of pressure on your foot, that means the wart can grow inward instead of outward. They will be covered by a thick callus on top of it. While there are a lot of different types of the HPV virus, only a small number of them cause plantar warts. They do cause outbreaks on other parts of the body or your mucus membranes.
How To Treat Them
A majority of the time, they will resolve on their own. It’s best to have a doctor look at it to verify that it is, indeed, a foot wart and not something else. They will examine it, and possibly send a tiny bit of it for a biopsy to make sure that it is nothing more serious.
If your self-treatment doesn’t work, there are options. The past method was to just remove the infected skin and then apply either salicylic acid or have the area frozen. The acid was painful and the freezing of the area would make for repeat visits. What the biggest problem was that the HPV virus would become dormant, not killed. That would then allow the wart to come back at some point in time. Other options include minor surgery or laser treatment.
How to Prevent Them
You have to worry more about these if you are diabetic or immune-compromised, like being HIV-positive. Children and teenagers also get them since their immune systems are still developing. Sometimes people who are taking certain medications that also lower their immune system have to be on the lookout for anything affecting their feet.
One thing that you have to watch out for with this is that you might alter how you walk - which then will affect your overall gait and then can cause a lot of other foot issues. It’s best to stop this as soon as possible. You can adjust what you wear, though. Look for shoes that are very well-cushioned. Make sure that you are comfortable wearing them.
The best way to prevent it is to wear footwear in areas that may have the HPV - flip flops or sneakers can add protection. Be vigilant in caring for your feet - make sure they are clean and dry and change your socks each day. If you do get warts on your feet, don’t pick at them or use the same nail clippers, emery board or pumice stone on them. It’s just a matter of taking a few extra minutes to make sure you follow basic hygiene.
HPV viruses that cause plantar warts are not terribly contagious, but you need to be careful walking around barefoot at the swimming pool or locker room. It’s not just athlete’s foot that you have to worry about. By paying attention all of these, you can have healthy feet for a very long time.
Dr. John J Hickey will be able to help get those warts off your feet with ease. He has many years of experience and can have you back on your feet in comfort in no time. Come to see him at Levittown Podiatry - call 516-735-4545 today to make an appointment. Your feet will thank you.
2870 Hempstead Tpke, Suite 103,
Levittown, New York 11756
Phone: (516) 735-4545