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What is a Plantar Wart?

Plantar Warts (Verrucae Plantaris) are lesions that occur on your feet as a result of an opportunistic infection from the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Small cracks in your skin allows this virus to enter the skin, which results in the development of the plantar wart. Over time, the skin infected with the wart thickens.

Warts are contagious in nature. This means that you can get warts from touching either a wart on someone else’s body, or surfaces that have contacted someone else’s wart – such as towel, floor or bath mats. This unfortunately means that you can spread warts from one part of your body to another.

What are warts? Are they dangerous? Where do  warts develop? What is the different between callouses, corns and warts? Watch on to find out more!

What will I experience?

Depending on the location of the wart, it may be painless. However, as we walk on our feet, warts on the foot can cause irritation and pain.

Plantar warts can appear in all different shapes and sizes. Typically, they appear with the following characteristics:

  • Rough grainy lesion(s), typically at the bottom of your foot
  • Can appear with overlying thickened yellowish skin
  • Disrupts the skin lines
  • Black dots within the lesion itself
  • Can be tender when squeezing the lesion
  • Sometimes tender even on direct pressure if on weight bearing portion of your foot

How can we help you?

Typically, warts are nothing much more than a nuisance. However, they are highly contagious and can multiply and spread quickly. Sometimes they can hang around for years! This is because we may be dealing with a virus that is resistant to many common treatments.

The best way to address them is to get expert treatment by a Podiatrist. Our Podiatrist will be able to help you determine your diagnosis and come up with a treatment plan to suit you. Do NOT attempt to self-treat if you have conditions that weaken your immune system, have Diabetes, or are an elderly, as this increases your risk of infection.

A Podiatrist can help with treatment of the wart in a number of ways including:

  • Sharps debridement to remove the outer layer of thick skin to address the underlying wart tissue.
  • Use of Cryotherapy to freeze the wart.
  • Mild Chemical treatment to the wart tissue.
  • Offloading of the painful wart lesion
  • Wart Needling to the wart tissue.

With any treatment conducted, our Podiatrist will run through a detailed assessment including your full medical history, as well as your needs and lifestyle factors, before recommending any course of treatment. We aim to make treatment as comfortable an experience as possible.

FAQ

Do I have a Wart or a Corn?

This is a very common question, because they can have overlapping similar features. So it is important to get the correct diagnosis! Wrong treatments can result in potentially lasting effects.

Corns are typically areas of hard skin developed from pressure or friction. Often, they appear round and thickened with yellowish skin and a central white core. You may experience pain from direct pressure. However, squeezing the lesion typically will not result in pain.

Warts can also have a thick yellowish skin overlying the lesion. However, they often present with dark spots at its core. They could be painful on direct pressure, but usually are even more tender when squeezing the lesion.

Can I prevent a wart?

Unfortunately, there is no real way to prevent yourself from getting a wart. However, there are precautionary measures that you can take to significantly reduce your risk of acquiring a wart. You may lower your risk of picking up a wart by doing these steps:

  • Wash your hand regularly.
  • Avoid directly contacting any wart tissue, even if it is your own. Wash your hands thoroughly if you contact any wart tissue.
  • Avoid walking around barefooted at public swimming pools and locker rooms.
  • Keep skin moisturised so that they can be healthy and free of cracks and cuts to reduce the chance of an infection
Can I spread my warts to my family members?
Yes, you can. You can spread it to anyone in fact. The HPV virus responsible for plantar warts are highly contagious, and can spread to other parts of your body, and other people. This can happen either through direct contact, or indirect methods (e.g floors in communal areas)
Can my warts go away on their own?
Depending on the severity, as well as your immune system, some warts will resolve on their own, others will not. Some warts are known to exist for many years without resolution. To ensure that you receive the most effective and appropriate treatment, do contact our Podiatrist for a consultation.
Can I try my own home remedies first?
Although there have been individuals who have had success with home remedies, to effectively get rid of warts, we need to stimulate an immune response. Home remedies usually have little to no evidence for success, and may even cause skin irritation or infection. Speak to our Podiatrist if you are concerned about your condition. We are here to help.
What can happen if I ignore my wart?

In some cases, warts may resolve by themselves. However, if you ignore a severe wart infection, you may:

  • Experience prolonged pain and discomfort
  • Compensation in your walking pattern if the wart hurts when you stand, walk or run
  • Spread the wart to other parts of your body
  • Spread the wart to your family members