Most foot warts are harmless, even though they may be painful. They are often mistaken for corns or calluses, which are layers of dead skin that builds up to protect an area which is being continuously irritated. A wart, however, is caused by a viral infection. Foot warts are generally raised and fleshy and can appear anywhere on the foot or toes. Occasionally, warts can spontaneously disappear after a short time, and then, just as frequently, they recur in the same location. If left untreated, warts can grow to an inch or more in circumference and can spread into clusters of warts. Children, especially teenagers, tend to be more susceptible to warts than adults.
Plantar warts, also known as verruca plantaris, appear on the soles of the feet and are one of several soft tissue conditions that can be quite painful. Unlike other foot warts, plantar warts tend to be hard and flat, with a rough surface and well-defined boundaries. They are often gray or brown (but the color may vary), with center area of one or more pinpoints of black. The virus that causes plantar warts thrives in warm, moist environments and can invade the skin through small or invisible cuts and abrasions, usually after prolonged exposure to wet areas like the floor of a gym locker room, a beach bathroom, or the mat of your child's martial arts school.
Like any other infectious lesion, plantar warts are spread by touching, scratching, or even by contact with skin shed from another wart. The wart may also bleed, which is another route for spreading. Plantar warts that develop on the weight-bearing areas of the foot (the ball or heel of the foot) can cause a sharp, burning pain. Pain occurs when weight is brought to bear directly on the wart, although pressure on the side of a wart can create equally intense pain.
It is important to note that warts can be very resistant to treatment and have a tendency to reoccur. Over-the-counter foot wart treatments can be very effective in conjunction with the care of your Podiatrist. Frequent physical debridement of the thickened tissue covering the wart by the Podiatrist will allow the medication to work more efficiently. Please contact our office for help. Our practice offers the expertise in recommending the best treatment for each patient.
Have you ever felt a sharp pain at the tip of your great toe, noticed it was a bit swollen, red, and angry looking? And then you'd chalk it up to tigh...