Children are particularly susceptible to plantar warts. These warts appear on the soles of the feet. The warts are not cancerous but are growths caused by a viral infection of the skin. This is usually the epidermis of the skin. The human papilloma virus or HPV is the one that causes these warts to occur. There are several strains if the virus and those that affect the feet are different from those that cause genital warts.
Plantar warts are not harmful or malignant, contrary to what many people think about them. In about 2 years the warts will disappear on their own even without any medical care. However, there are cases where the arts may cause some pain and they may make it difficult for the patient to walk. Similarly, the warts may be in a place where they are visible, making the affected person to be self-conscious.
What does a plantar wart look like ?
Plantar warts are small and are the size of the circumference of a pencil. There are some that grow into big circles. The warts can also grow in groups which are called mosaic warts. You should be able to tell the difference between plantar warts and scales or calluses. People have mistakenly called plantar warts “seed” warts, due to the small dot in the center. The small dot is a cluster of blood vessels that have grown in the wart. Due to the pressure of walking, the plantar warts do not rise above the surface of the skin like those of the hand.
How do plantar warts spread ?
Plantar warts are spread from one person to another, and the transmission can be indirect. If a person with plantar warts passes somewhere bare foot, and another person passes over the same spot, then the new person will also get the warts. This happens around swimming pools and public showers where people are bound to go without wearing any footwear. Warts are sometimes an indication of a suppressed immune system. However, it is common for people with a strong immune system to develop the warts too, though to a lesser extent and for a shorter period.
What is the treatment for plantar warts?
Plantar warts will usually disappear on their own without any treatment, and if they are not causing you any harm or discomfort, then you can just ignore them. However, if they make it difficult to walk, then you can treat them using a variety of methods.
You can use over the counter medication which will serve to peel the warts from your skin. However, these only work about half the time, and are not effective. A doctor can decide to freeze the wart off using liquid nitrogen, or inject you with medication to strengthen your immune system so as to remove the wart. The wart can also be removed using laser technology, or by undergoing minor surgery to remove it. The doctor can also use mild electric current to kill the cells of the wart so that it falls off.
You can use duct tape to cover the plantar wart for six days or so. After this remove the duct tape and soak the wart in water. You can slowly rub it with a pumice stone in order to debride it slowly. Repeat the process over and over, and the wart should disappear in a few months.
Cantharadin, or blister beetle extract has also been used to remove these warts. The cantharadin will cause the wart to form a blister in 4 to 6 hours and then the wart will disappear after the blister dries up.
Treatment for plantar warts takes time, whether you use medication or homemade techniques. You should be patient especially because most of these warts have very little effect on the afflicted. Since the warts are at the bottom of the feet, they are hard to reach for proper debriding. These warts can reappear at the same spot, or another one after a time. Most doctors advise that you just let it be, since it is not bothersome. The immune system will soon get rid of the virus and the wart will disappear.
Plantar wart prevention
You should be careful when you are around a swimming pool, or communal bathing area, benches and rooms. Always wear footwear such as slippers when going into the bathroom or moving around the changing room. You should always wear slippers when you are at the poolside. Similarly, you should not share socks and shoes with other people. This is one way of getting the virus.
The only way to get rid of the wart quickly and not spend too much money is going for a minor surgery which will be done using local anesthesia to remove the wart. It will be like scuffing your toe against a rock, and waiting for the wound to heal.
Plantar Wart Pictures