The balls, heels and other weight-bearing points of the soles of the feet may have small growths or lesions that are known as plantar warts. Another name for a plantar wart is a verruca. Plantar warts are similar infections that occur on the palms of the hands. Plantar warts are commonly occurring and are non-cancerous skin growths.
Plantar warts are caused by HPV or Human Papilloma Virus. There are numerous kinds of Papilloma Virus but only a few types are responsible for causing plantar warts. The virus can penetrate into the foot via tiny abrasions or cuts in the soles of the foot. The virus thrives in moist and humid conditions. Therefore, locker rooms, the area around swimming pools, especially if walking around barefoot makes people more susceptible to acquiring the virus.
The ability to contract HPV and subsequent plantar warts also differ between individual to individual and can depend on the immune response of the individual.
If an individual has contracted plantar warts before, there is a chance they might contract it again if they are exposed to the same environment/conditions.
Abrasions in the outermost layer of the skin, the stratum corneum, allowing the virus to enter the skin. Due to the pressure applied to the foot in walking, the wart may be pressed inward, with a layer of skin forming over it. A single wart may spread to infect the neighboring skin creating a cluster of warts. It is common to confuse a plantar wart with corns or calluses. To distinguish between the two, the patient should consult a podiatric clinic so that the feet may be examined and treated.
Plantar warts are extremely common and may not always present serious problems. Often they may subside even without any treatment.
Individuals should seek medical advice if the wart is painful to the extent that it prevents walking properly and is disabling.
Ways in which one can reduce the possibility of acquiring plantar warts is to avoid walking barefoot in areas surrounding a pool, communal showers or locker rooms. Another preventive measure is not to share shoes or socks with another person.
Some HPV vaccines that are in circulation are not effective against plantar warts, as they act against different strains of the Human Papilloma Virus – strains that are not causative of plantar warts.
A number of chemical/ medicinal options are available as a first line of treatment against plantar warts. In cases where this treatment does not work, then there are surgical options where warts may be excised from the skin. Cauterisation and laser surgery may also be further options.
CuraFoot, a leader in podiatric care, provides a wide range of services aimed to diagnose and treat the complications associated with foot deformities and infections. One of these services is the option of having the patient’s feet assessed. Doctor consultations, foot assessment and treatment plans will take the patient’s best interests into consideration to provide non-surgical treatment options for plantar wart treatment wherever possible.