Warts are embarrassing, unsightly, and can even cause pain, but we have some good news for you—these viral growths are generally harmless and will go away on their own in time. Now, “in time” can mean up to a couple of years, so your best course of action is to have plantar warts treated. Fortunately, wart removal is one of the many foot and ankle services we provide at Freeland Foot & Ankle Clinic.
Why You Shouldn’t Wait for a Wart to Go Away
As noted, plantar warts are generally harmless, but they can cause discomfort, tenderness, and even pain while walking or simply standing. This can be attributed to their location on the underside of a foot more than anything else. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort, or you notice a change in appearance or color, be sure to contact us and have Dr. Dailey examine it for you and determine if removal is the right approach.
How to Recognize a Wart on the Bottom of Your Foot
The bumpy growth tends to be the most obvious symptom. The specific appearance of a wart will vary, depending on what type it is. For plantar warts, you will typically find one to be a rough, fleshy growth located on the bottom of the foot. If you are able to look closely at one, you will possibly see a black spot in the center. These are often believed to be the wart’s seeds, but this is actually another myth. Warts do not have seeds, and you are merely observing the ends of tiny, clotted blood vessels.
The first matter of discussion for treating a wart is home care. Some people opt to perform home surgery, but this is a terrible idea! Since a wart is virus-based, cutting one does not necessarily eliminate the problem. Additionally, this increases the risk of sustaining a dangerous infection.
There are also over-the-counter wart treatment kits available for purchase, but this is not always the best approach. First, these kits are not always effective at addressing the issue. Second, and more importantly, they come with the risk of damaging healthy skin around the wart.
Instead of tackling the problem on your own, let our professionals handle the issue for you. Our office is ready to use the right combination of treatment options for your specific case. Dr. Dailey may use incision, injection therapy, or topical medication, depending on your specific case.
Why Plantar Warts Develop
Warts develop on account of a microscopic virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a fairly common virus, and it tends to be found and thrive in areas that are damp and warm, like pool decks and locker room and communal shower floors. The virus does require only a tiny cut, weak spot, or break in the skin on the bottom of a foot to actually infect the body.
There are over 100 different strands of HPV, but only a few will cause a wart to grow on your skin. Further, a strand that causes a plantar wart for one person might not do the same for someone else. Even siblings and other family members might have a different response to the same strand of HPV that led to a wart for their loved one.
In most cases, the virus is not transmitted via direct contact between one person and another, but it is certainly possible. That said, warts can be passed along by touch, so it is important to be careful in this regard.
How to Prevent a Plantar Wart
Preventing a plantar wart can avoid a lot of discomfort, frustration, and embarrassment. Some of the best tips for wart prevention include:
- Do not pick at or make direct skin contact with a wart.
- Keep your feet dry and clean.
- Change your footwear daily, especially your socks.
- When visiting gyms or indoor pools, always wear shower shoes or sandals when in the locker room, using communal showers, or while on deck.
Now that you understand plantar warts, where they come from, and what can be done about them, it is time to schedule an appointment for professional wart removal. Come see us at Freeland Foot & Ankle Clinic, and we will assess your condition and provide the appropriate care. Give us a call at (989) 695-6788 or contact us online to schedule your appointment today.