Warts are areas of hard skin that can present in different forms. They may appear to look like a callus, some are bubbled, and some can be distinguished by small black dots. The dots are the blood vessels that supply the wart. Warts are caused by an infection of the human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV is a transmittable virus that can be spread through contact. HPV thrives in warm moist places such as public swimming pools and gym locker rooms. The virus typically enters the foot through small cracks or breaks in the skin. Not everyone who comes in contact with the virus will develop a wart, but it is always best to take proper precautions. Plantar warts are warts found on the bottom of the foot, typically on the heel or ball of the foot near the toes. Plantar warts can be solitary (just a single wart) or mosaic (a cluster of warts). Since these warts are found on the soles of the feet, they can become painful when weight bearing.
The best prevention method is to always wear proper footwear and never walk barefoot. Keep your feet clean and dry by wearing breathable shoes and changing socks as needed. While it is unlikely to transmit the virus just by touching a wart, it is recommended to use a separate wash cloth for the affected area. Be sure to seek treatment for any household members affected to prevent the spread to others.
Without treatment, some warts may resolve on their own in six months to two years. The most effective treatment combines modalities. Topical and oral medications may be prescribed. The wart may be debrided (clearing the area of dead skin), and laser treatment may be used. Laser therapy is fast and effective as it seals off the blood vessels that supply the wart with nutrients.
If you think you have a wart, notice a change in skin on the bottom of your foot, or have a lesion on your foot, call our office today for a consultation.