Warts are a horny projection on the skin usually of the extremities produced by proliferation of the skin papillae and caused by any of numerous human papillomaviruses also called verruca vulgaris. There are different types of warts as warts can appear on almost every part of the skin.
One of the most popular types of wart is Plantar warts (verruca plantaris) which are small rough bumps or growth found around the soles of the feet and the toes.
They are also known as foot wart and usually sink into the skin unlike other common warts because of the pressure from the weight of a person on foot, but that part of the skin is usually rough and hard, and some warts have black dots (blood clot) on the surface.
Plantar warts do not cause cancer or any other skin infection, and they eventually disappear on their own after a while without special treatment within two years.
Some warts might be painful and can cause serious discomfort during movement and can spread to the soles of the foot if left untreated. There are two types of plantar warts namely.
- Solitary warts: a single wart that often increases in size and may eventually multiply, forming new satellite warts.
- Mosaic warts: a cluster of several small warts growing closely together in one area. These warts are more difficult to treat than solitary warts.
Causes of Plantar Warts
Plantar warts are generally caused by direct contact with the human papilloma virus (HPV) which infects the epidermis (the upper layer of skin).
This is the same virus that causes warts on other areas of the body. The virus is a large number of virus species in the family Papillomaviridae that affect humans, sometimes causing cervical or other cancer. It is sometimes classified as a sexually transmitted disease.
The virus penetrates through a cut or an opening on foot thereby infecting the skin and resulting in a wart.
They are highly transmittable and spread quickly from one surface of the skin to another when touched or scratched and when the foot is infected it usually takes a while before the growth surfaces, it can take months before a person begins to see the symptoms.
Warts on your feet can often look like calluses, which are thickened areas of skin. But warts have a few distinguishing features that calluses do not.
- Skin lines interrupted by warts: Warts will interrupt the skin lines on the bottom of the foot, whereas calluses will have skin lines continue through the hard, dead skin.
- Black dots: Warts usually have small black dots, and calluses do not. The dots are often called the seed of the wart, but they are not an actual seed. They are the capillaries that carry the blood supply that feeds the wart.
- Pain when squeezed: Warts are more painful when they are squeezed side to side and calluses are more painful when pushed on directly.
Plantar warts are commonly found in:
- Children and teenagers because they tend to walk barefooted more than the regular adult.
- HIV and diabetes patients because their system has been weakened.
- People with weak immune systems generally cannot fight the infection.
How to Prevent Plantar Warts
They say prevention is better than cure and you can only prevent a problem from happening when. You know the causes. Plantar warts can be contacted by sharing slippers or socks with a person who already has warts or walking barefoot in an infected area. Any slight contact with the virus can result in infection. These tips can easily help you prevent warts.
Don’t walk barefoot in a public pool or shower
This is one of the easiest places to contact plantar wart because the majority of the people in these areas prefer to walk barefoot and if a person has plantar warts they can easily spread the virus on the floors. Wearing shoes in this type of place will help in preventing the contact of plantar warts if such an area is infected.
Avod Sharing shoes
Warts easily spread as soon as it comes in contact with another surface, so shoes are one of the fastest carriers of warts because they are in direct contact with the sole of your foot. The virus cannot be seen ordinarily, and you may not always be conscious of cleaning and disinfecting any shoe before you wear. Putting on the same shoes of someone who has warts might increase your risk of having plantar warts. It is best to avoid sharing shoes with people to prevent contact.
Cover up leg injuries properly
The only way HPV can infect your skin is if there is a cut on or bruise on the skin. So if you have an injury on your foot, ensure your dress it properly to prevent any passage in case of contact with the virus and always make sure that your feet are cleaned regularly to wash off any contact with the virus before it can result in warts.
Don’t share foot maintenance tools anyhow.
Watch out to see that tools like nail clippers, pumice stones and files are not used on you without being disinfected and cleaned properly. If it has been used by someone who has warts, there is a high chance that you might get warts too.
Ways to Treat Plantar Warts
Plantar warts can be treated, and the treatments usually involve the use of certain chemicals or surgical processes to aid in removal. Some of these treatments can be applied at home while others require professional help.
- Salicylic acid
- Laser Surgery
Salicylic acid is a colorless acid and is one of the most effective ways of treating plantar warts. It involves the peeling off of warts, and it usually comes in gel or ointment form, and when applied for a period, warts can be peeled off, but the process takes a longer period usually weeks to completely get rid of warts. This method can be done at home.
Chemical treatments like Cantharidin, bleomycin, and Imiquimod are chemicals that are usually applied to warts to kill off the virus and also boost the immune system to fight the virus in case of recurrent experiences.
Cryotherapy also is known as freezing is a minor surgical method that involves the use of nitrogen to freeze the area where the wart appears. This can be a painful method, but it is fast as warts usually come off within two weeks after freezing.
Cauterization is also a surgical process that requires professional help and can be effective in the case of frequent warts recurring, but usually leaves off scares after the surgery.
Laser surgery is usually the highest treatment and also very expensive than the other methods. It involves the use of lasers and needles to get rid of warts, and it can be painful but is considered the last option for warts that could not be cured with another method.
Having a fore knowledge on the symptoms of warts and how to prevent them should the need arise can be an essential tool to help you solve a small problem without having wild thoughts about it or worse, leaving it untreated for a long time as warts can be an embarrassing sight for the eyes and a suspicion of skin diseases.
Not only will these tips help prevent warts, but they can also help prevent other skin infections as well as improve your hygiene. This knowledge can help other people around you to properly check themselves and take care of themselves.
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