Plantar warts may be something you don’t want to talk about, but they are not uncommon. They’re not fun and can be painful in some situations, especially when left untreated. They can occur on anyone but are most common in children and teens and those who have a weakened immune system. They may also happen more readily to those who walk barefoot in high-traffic areas such as pool decks or locker rooms. Your first goal may be to get rid of them, but once you do that, you’ll want to learn how to prevent plantar warts from returning.
What Can a Podiatrist Do About My Hot Foot?
There’s a great deal of misinformation about there about this condition. Warts are brought on by a very common virus called human papillomavirus (HPV). The virus thrives in warm and damp environments and only needs a very small scratch on the skin to enter into the body. When that happens, a wart may form.
These warts do not pose a serious threat to health, but they can be bothersome. They often resolve themselves on their own over time, but not everyone wants to wait for that to happen. It can take years to occur in some cases.
If you want to get rid of a wart, don’t try to do it yourself as that can cause infection and, in some cases, worsening of the condition. We encourage you to reach out to our team for help in getting rid of them.
Symptoms of Plantar Warts
The first step in preventing and treating this condition is to understand if you have it to begin with. Some of the most common symptoms of plantar warts include the following:
- A growth located, commonly, on the foot that has different lines and ridges than the rest of your foot
- A callus forms on a spot on your skin, this spot generally is where the wart is growing inwards into your skin
- Some warts have black pinpoints on them, which are small, clotted vessels
- Pain and tenderness on the area, especially when placing pressure on it
It's important to know that if you have warts like this, you don't want to try to rip or cut them off. Instead, allow our team to look at them if they are bothersome to you.
Why Do Plantar Warts Come Back?
Once you get a plantar wart, they are more likely to come back over time. There is no guaranteed cure for plantar warts. They can come back numerous times throughout your lifetime. The most effective treatment for them is a specific round of treatments that takes time.
Plantar warts come back because HPV is still present in the body. It lurks in tissues and is dormant. You often don't know it is there, and it doesn't bother you. This virus is very mild, and although it remains present, it rarely causes significant problems.
Also, breaking it open can be problematic if you have an existing plantar wart. Breaking it open can cause new warts to appear in areas around it. It is possible to spread these warts to other areas of the body if you touch that area and don’t wash your hands after doing so.
Effective Treatment Is the Best Way to Get Rid of Warts for Good
Most often, no treatment is necessary for wart treatment, but for those who have an area of pain on their foot from it, getting professional treatment may be best. Over-the-counter products are ineffective and do not penetrate deep enough into the skin where the wart is to remove it properly. You may remove the outer layer like this, but it is rarely enough to keep the wart from coming back.
There are prescription-strength medications that may help. These work by peeling away the layers of the wart until it is removed. Your provider will provide you with insight into if this type of treatment is beneficial to you.
Another treatment option is plantar wart freezing. Done by a professional, this method may help to remove and keep the wart from returning. Immunotherapy is another beneficial option because it helps the immune system fight HPV properly.
Here are some additional tips for minimizing the return of warts:
- Avoid touching them. You don’t want them to spread.
- Keep the area clean and dry to prevent the build-up of bacteria.
- Keep the soles of your feet protected, including wearing protective shoes when exposed to high-traffic areas.
This provides a starting point for you to prevent a wart, but we can provide further information. Even better, our Massapequa, NY office provides professional treatment for wart removal. If you, or any of your loved ones, have a plantar wart (one found on the foot), schedule an appointment and we can take care of it for you. Call us today toll-free at (844) 899-8658 or contact us online right now!