Plantar Warts (Verrucae)

What are plantar warts? 

Plantar warts are skin growths caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Plantar warts grow on the bottom surface of your feet, which can become problematic as pressure from walking on the lesion causes the skin to thicken and become very painful.  

Warts can be found anywhere on the body, however plantar warts differ to the warts you find on your elbow or knee. They are often covered with thick and calloused skin which can be itchy and painful with every step taken.

Wart (1)

How do warts develop? 

The wart virus lives in moist environments, so it often lives on bathroom floors, public showers and public pool areas. Walking barefoot in these kinds of areas may expose you to the wart virus and can enter your body through small cuts or breaks in the skin. 

Tips to avoid getting warts

  • Wear shoes/thongs in public places
  • Dry your feet thoroughly after a shower/swimming
  • Clean and change your socks regularly
  • Allow your shoes to air out at the end of a day
  • Don’t share shoes! 

How do I know if I have a wart? 

  • There is a lump on the bottom of your foot with a rough or smooth surface  
  • Skin growth with dark spots in the center 
  • A painful lump which hurts to stand or walk on
  • A lump that hurts more to squeeze than applying direct pressure to
  • A small, fleshy rough growth on the bottom of your foot 

When should I see a Podiatrist? 

If a wart become painful, increases in size, spreads (to the other foot or family members) or if it’s simply displeasing to see, come in and see one of our friendly Podiatrists. Often over the counter treatments are unsuccessful due to the thick skin that covers the wart and the depth of the wart, therefore these treatments are unable to reach the core of the wart tissue.

What does treatment involve? 

Management involves initially debriding the thick overlying skin so the wart can then be exposed. Attention then comes to the wart tissue which we use topical keratolytics to slowly peel back the skin until the wart is gone. We may also use cryotherapy (freezing) to assist in attacking the more aggressive warts. Treatments are often done weekly until the wart is no longer visible.

If you think you may have a wart, or are having painful problems with your feet, come in and see us today! 

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