Warts: Causes and Treatment

Warts are caused by a virus and can appear anywhere on a person's skin. The ones that are found on the soles of the feet are called plantar warts. Children and teenagers are especially susceptible to them.

Causes of Warts

The virus that causes plantar warts makes its way through the skin by way of small cuts and abrasions. Walking barefoot on a dirty surface or a ground where litter is present puts someone at higher risk for contracting them. The virus also lives in warm, moist environments, and it's possible to contract it at public swimming pools and showering facilities and health clubs.

If a wart is left untreated, it can spread into a cluster of several warts. The warts are spread by touching, scratching or contact with skin that has been shed from another wart.

Treatment for Plantar Warts

Your first step when you see something suspicious on your foot is to visit a podiatrist in order to get a proper diagnosis.

Treating a plantar wart at home is not your best option. Over-the-counter (OTC) remedies that contain acids destroy skin cells. It takes an expert to apply them properly without destroying the healthy tissue surrounding the wart.

People with diabetes as well as those with circulatory disorders should take special care if they detect any plantar warts on their feet and consult a podiatrist instead of attempting to use any OTC products.

Once the plantar wart has been diagnosed, a podiatrist may decide to remove it in the office with a simple surgical procedure. In that instance, a local anesthetic will be given.

Prevention of Plantar Warts

To prevent plantar warts, follow these helpful tips:

•   Always wear shoes when walking outside.

•   Change your shoes and socks every day.

•   Keep your feet clean by washing them daily and make sure you dry them thoroughly.

•   Avoid direct contact with warts, both from other people and from other parts of your own body.

•   Get growths on, or changes in your skin, examined by a physician or a podiatrist.

•   Visit your podiatrist for checkups annually.

To schedule a checkup to make sure that your feet are healthy or to discuss wart removal treatment, contact Sheldon H. Nadal D.P.M. to make an appointment.