Plantar Warts

You may have never heard of plantar warts before unless you or someone close to you were inflicted with them.  Plantar warts are an abnormal growth on the sole of the foot.  They stem from an infection from the human papillomavirus type 1 or 2 and enter the skin on the bottom of your feet through small cuts or abrasions.  Most people won’t realize they have contracted HPV in their feet until the growth becomes painful, usually 3-4 months after initial HPV invasion.

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The pressure exerted on the soles of your feet from standing or walking will cause plantar warts to grow into the sole of your feet unlike warts that grow on other parts of the body.  Plantar warts may be confused with corns or calluses but differ in appearance.  Plantar warts are marked by black pinpoints on the surface of the wart which are absent with calluses or corns.  Warts are also painful when squeezed because they are filled with blood and nerve tissue.

The virus that causes plantar warts (HPV) is contagious and it thrives in warm moist areas.  HPV can be transmitted from person to person and can be contracted from floor surfaces or shoes.  Communal showers and swimming pools are easily contaminated.  Use appropriate foot ware to lower your risk for an HPV infection.

Treatment

There are several treatments available for plantar warts.  Doctors usually don’t recommend treatment unless the lesion is abnormally large or very painful.  Plantar warts are treated by:

Chemical means, usually an acid applied directly to the growth over a period of time.

Physically removing the growth through surgical means.

Laser treatment to excise or vaporize the growth.

Cryogenics uses a freezing agent such as liquid nitrogen to freeze the growth.

Plantar warts are a virus, and can be difficult to eradicate.  Best result occur if they can be treated early.

There are over the counter chemical treatments you can purchase at any local drugstore.

I’ve heard success stories for a home remedy treatment using apple cider vinegar and tape or nail polish to smother the growth.

Plantar warts will often die off on their own.