If you have noticed the formation of a wart on your foot, you’re not alone. Millions of people across the US have plantar warts on their feet. Some of these warts are non-symptomatic and don’t cause any issues, while others may be uncomfortable or downright painful. Why do plantar warts grow, and how are they treated? We answer these questions and more in today’s blog.
Why Do Plantar Warts Develop?
Plantar warts are actually caused by a virus, and usually they are picked up when a person is walking around in their bare feet on warm, moist surfaces. Areas like a community shower or a high school locker room are breeding grounds for these viruses, and even though staff work to clean these areas, it’s probably in your best interest to limit your bare foot exposure in these places.
Most people want to have their plantar warts taken care of because they aren’t appealing to the eye, not because they are causing painful symptoms. That being said, some plantar warts can be large and cause discomfort when walking or wearing shoes. Whatever your reasons for treating plantar warts, know that there are a variety of treatment options at your disposal.
Diagnosing and Treating Plantar Warts
You can diagnose your own plantar warts, or you can go into a doctor’s office and have them take a closer look. A plantar wart involves an abnormal collection of skin that is oftentimes harder than the skin around it. It is different than a callus, and is sometimes raised above the nearby skin.
There are a number of ways to treat plantar warts. If one method is ineffective, try another option.
Topical Treatments – Some plantar warts will resolve if they are treated with over-the-counter topical treatments. You can usually find these at a pharmacy in your area.
Prescription Treatments – Your doctor or a foot specialist may be able to prescribe a more concentrated topical treatment option.
Liquid Nitrogen – Your healthcare provider may be able to apply a small amount of liquid nitrogen to the wart. This creates localized death of the skin cells, which can help clear up the wart.
Time and Patience – Interestingly, the majority of plantar warts resolve on their own over time. This may not be the fastest way to take care of the wart, but it’s the easiest.
Surgery – Surgery is not all that common for treating plantar warts. That being said, a foot surgeon or your primary care doctor may trim back some of the wart to decrease it’s thickness, which may be helpful in letting healthy skin cells regenerate in the area.