Warts stink! Well, they’re not actually smelly, but warts on the feet can keep you from doing a lot of things you love: getting pedicures, showing off your bare feet at the pool (on Instagram, of course), and just generally being a non-embarrassed human being when you take your shoes off. Let’s learn more about these pesky problems.
What Are Plantar Warts?
A wart is a harmless, noncancerous lesion caused by a few different types of human papillomavirus, or HPV. There are more than 100 different types of the virus, but when certain strands cause an infection in the outer layer of skin on your feet, you can end up with plantar warts.
These growths can be spread indirectly from person to person, but aren’t easily transmitted. It really depends on your immune system, or if you have cuts, scrapes, or cracks on the bottom of your feet. If you have a weak immune system or skin openings, you’re more at risk of picking this infection up; especially in warm, moist environments where the fungus likes to thrive and grow.
For example, someone with a wart might be walking around a pool area without sandals on. If you walk around barefoot in that same area, you might develop a wart. The same thing can happen in public showers or locker rooms.
You Won’t Like What You, or Others, Find!
If you notice a wart when it’s small, it might look like a small dot on the bottom of your foot that interrupts the normal lines and grooves in your skin. The spot itself may look like a callus—some people mistake it for that instead of a wart. Underneath that skin, though, the wart has grown inward.
Sometimes, the wart can look like it has little dots or “seeds” in it. Those dots are actually clotted blood vessels that grow into the wart. Upon a closer look, you might also be able to see that the wart is rough and grainy.
Comparing Duct Tape, Freezing, and a Podiatrist’s Treatment
Without treatment, most warts go away in two years. However, that’s a long to time to deal with these growths; especially if they’re painful! In fact, we recommend you see a podiatrist if the wart’s pain is interfering with your daily life, or if you’ve continuously tried to remove the growth and it has spread or gotten bigger. Plus, it can be quite embarrassing to have a visible wart when you want to go barefoot.
Some people will suggest that you try home remedies like duct tape for a few months. Just leave the duct tape over the wart for six days, remove and scrub the lesion with a pumice stone. You can try this natural method, but most times it’s ineffective. More advanced stages of your wart need more advanced treatment.
There are some over-the-counter wart removers you can try from the drug store. Those work around half of the time. Since warts on the feet are typically under the surface and more ingrown than other cases on your body, they can be harder to remove. These at-home solutions can take a lot longer that the treatment we can give you at Sierra Foot & Ankle.
Don’t Pick and Don’t Go Barefoot!
To prevent getting a growth on the bottom of your foot, wear shoes or sandals when you’re walking around pool areas, public showers, and locker rooms.
If you already have a wart, keep it from spreading by avoiding contact altogether. That means no picking, no matter how much you want to get rid of it! Make sure you use different nail supplies on your wart than what you use for the rest of your skin and nails. Always wash your hands whenever you touch the infected area.
If you need professional treatment for warts on the feet, call Sierra Foot & Ankle at (775) 783-8037. We can give you speedy solutions that will get rid of your growth!