Plantar wart, also known as verruca, is a common skin lesion. Plantar wart because it develops on plantar surfaces; the sole of the feet. They are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV causes protein in the top layer of the skin to grow too much. This produces the rough, hard texture of a wart.
How to identify a plantar wart
They appear as a small growth, mostly between .5 to 2 inches on the bottom of the feet. If left untreated, they will develop into a hard callous with a rough, irregular surface. Often mistaken for a corn, a plantar wart can be identified as a tiny black dot under the hard skin.
Normal walking and standing add pressure to the growth, causing it to push back into the skin. This can be quite painful.
What causes a plantar wart to develop?
Like the common cold sore, which is caused by HPV, a plantar wart is highly contagious through direct person to person contact. It is also possible to indirectly spread from skin cells. For example, if it’s present on carpet, towels, wet room surfaces and socks. This of course makes communal areas such as bathrooms, wash areas, and swimming pool surfaces high target locations for cross contamination.
While plantar warts are most commonly found in children and young adults age 5-25, a plantar wart can develop at any age.
How to treat it
Upon first notice, you should refrain from scratching or touching it as it may spread into a cluster of warts. Instead, cover it up with a plaster as this may cure it. In many cases, evidence suggests that a plantar wart will simply just go away within six months for children but up to two years for adults – yikes!
For unsightly and/or painful plantar warts or if they’re spreading, self-treat is also an option. Using ointments and gels from your local pharmacist and of course following the instructions carefully. Many cases suggest ointments and gels that contain salicylic acid which when applied to the wart, helps to disintegrate the viral cells.
Sometimes, merely rubbing away the dry skin over the plantar wart and applying a plaster can help to encourage the body’s immune system to fight the infection. However, if the surrounding skin area of your plantar wart turns red or becomes unusually painful, you should stop treatment immediately and see a medical professional. This is to prevent damaging the healthy tissue around a plantar wart so that you’re not inhibiting further treatment.
We successfully treat skin tags and various types of warts using common methods such as Cryotherapy.
To find out more about the skin conditions, products and treatments in this article or to book a complimentary consultation, call (919) 554-6754 to schedule an appointment with a Wake Health Medical Group specialist, or schedule a consultation online.