Plantar warts are small, hard areas of skin on the bottom of your feet. Although they might look like a callus, warts have small black dots lying beneath the surface. These are blood vessels that keep the wart active, causing you pain and discomfort.
Causes and Symptoms of Warts on Your Feet
Warts are a version of the human papilloma virus (HPV). The only way that the virus can make it into the bottom of your foot is if you already have an open cut. Then, once inside, the wart starts to develop in the outer layer of the skin. Internally, the blood vessels and nerves attach to your foot, which can cause a variety of symptoms.
Some of the most common symptoms wart sufferers feel are:
- Pain when squeezed.
- Pain with direct weight.
- White, hard blemish (similar to a callus in appearance) on the bottom of the foot.
Although not dangerous to your overall health, it is important to treat your warts so that they do not continue to worsen and spread. This will continue to cause you pain and embarrassment.
Treating Your Warts
Treating plantar warts used to make people cringe. Now, as treatments have advanced, they have become a lot more comfortable. You can either try at-home treatments or see a podiatrist if you need extra help removing the warts.
There are a variety of over-the-counter products that treat warts. These are only effective if you have healthy blood flow to your feet. Diabetics and elderly patients will probably not see the benefit of these products—and, in fact, they can be dangerous for patients who experience difficulty with circulation or healing.
When selecting your over-the-counter medication for the warts, look for the ingredient salicylic acid. This will destroy the blood vessels and nerve endings from the surface inward. This medication should not be used on a daily basis. In between usage, try filing down the callus over the wart with a pumice stone. This way your next treatment will reach the active part of the wart faster.
While treating your wart at home, keep it covered with a bandage. This will stop the wart from growing.
At a Podiatrist Office
There are a variety of treatment options for plantar warts at your podiatrist. Some of these include:
- Medication that is stronger than what you can buy over-the-counter.
- Lasers and other special instruments to remove the wart.
- Injections to treat the wart internally, bypassing the outer thick callus area.
No matter which type of treatment you use, it’s important to get started treating the warts. The faster you begin treatment, the faster you can eliminate warts from the bottom of your foot. By letting them linger without treatment you not only cause yourself pain, but you expose your foot to the risk of the warts spreading and clustering.
Not sure what type of treatment is right for you? We can help. Call our office for more information and to schedule an appointment with Dr. Gasparini.