What causes warts on your feet?
How should you treat plantar warts?
Warts on the bottom of feet (known as plantar warts) are quite common and something we are very experienced at treating. While plantar warts don’t usually lead to serious complications, they don’t always get better on their own, and if they do, it can take as long as two years for them to disappear!
Read on to learn more about plantar warts, what causes them, how you can prevent them and how we can help get rid of them for you.
What are plantar warts?
Warts can appear anywhere on your body. The ones that grow on the soles of your feet are called plantar warts. These are slightly different to other warts because they grow into your skin, not out of it. All warts, including plantar warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). There are over 100 types of HPV that can cause warts and once you contract the virus, it will remain in your system for life — even if you don’t have any visible warts.
Plantar warts usually grow on the weight-bearing areas of the foot. They can form as a single wart or in clusters, which are also known as mosaic warts.
signs and symptoms of plantar warts?
Plantar warts look different to other warts. Typical signs and symptoms include:
What causes plantar warts?
Plantar warts on your foot are caused by HPV. Warts can occur when the virus enters your body through tiny cuts or breaks in the skin under your feet. The virus can be transmitted via direct contact with someone else who has the virus, or you can contract it if you share floors, showers or baths, or shoes and socks with someone who has the virus.
The good news is that the strains of HPV that cause plantar warts aren’t highly contagious and everyone’s immune system responds differently to the virus. If you come into contact with the virus, you may not develop warts, even if someone close to you has them.
Who is at risk of developing plantar warts?
These foot warts can affect anyone, however they are more common in children and teenagers, as it’s thought their immune systems are still developing. Other people at higher risk include:
people with lowered immune systems
those who have had plantar warts before
people who walk barefoot in communal areas such as swimming pools, showers and locker rooms.
Complications of plantar warts
Complications of plantar warts aren’t usually serious. However, if you have pain in your foot, it’s very likely that you’ll alter your posture or gait (the way you walk) to accommodate this discomfort. Over time, this can cause other complications and pain in your muscles and joints which may need treatment.
Remember, if you notice something unusual like a growth or changes in the skin on your feet, don’t ignore it. We can effectively diagnose and treat plantar warts and get you back on your (two) feet without too much fuss!
Treatment for plantar warts
Most plantar warts do go away by themselves, although it can take as long as a year or two. However, if you want to get rid of them quicker, there are a number of plantar wart treatments.
Home treatments are advised with caution as many over the counter wart treatments contain acid or chemicals that can be harmful to skin. Patients with diabetes, heart disease or circulation disorders should avoid using any treatments
We recommend making an appointment to see us if your lesion is bleeding, painful and interferes with daily activity, or hasn’t responded to home treatment. You should also visit us if you have diabetes or a compromised immune system, or if you’re unsure of what the lesion is.
Podiatry treatment can be very effective in treating plantar warts. The types of treatment available include:
swift microwave therapy
The Foot Hub offers Swift Microwave Therapy, a simple and effective treatment for plantar warts. Swift has an 83 percent success rate, higher than any other form of plantar wart treatment.
How to prevent plantar warts
Keep your feet clean and dry, and change your shoes and socks each day
Wear footwear in areas where you are likely to contract the virus, such as swimming pools, communal showers and locker rooms
Avoid direct contact with warts, including your own. Wash your hands thoroughly after touching them.
Avoid picking and scratching your warts