Warts of any kind can be difficult to get rid of. Plantar warts are especially hard to deal with, because they are deep within the sole, or sides, of the foot. Topical and over-the-counter treatments might remove the visible, exposed portion of the wart, but the roots of the wart are left intact. The opportunity for new warts to develop remains.
Plantar warts get their name from the surface of the foot where they are most common. Because plantar warts are often located on the pressure points of the foot, they tend to grow inward, under the skin. The constant pressure of being on your feet for the better part of your day is what causes these warts to remain underneath the skin. That’s why it’s possible to have plantar warts for years and remain unaware until the warts become bothersome.
Little known facts about plantar warts
Plantar warts are common because they spread fairly easily. If you work out regularly and use the showers at your gym, you have probably been exposed to the virus that causes plantar warts.
If you’ve develop plantar warts, you usually see a depressed, circular area on the sole of your foot. This spot may be yellowish and possibly have a black spot in the middle. Beneath the flat, round area is a root with finger-like growths attached.
In addition to these basic facts, you may find that these common viral growths still hold a few surprises for you. Here are some of the lesser-known facts about plantar warts.
HPV is the cause
Plantar warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a different strain of the virus that causes cervical cancer. The HPV enters through a break in your skin, and if your antibodies don’t manage to kill the virus in time, it develops cells at a rapid rate.
The virus can be dormant
The virus can remain dormant for as long as 20 months, making it difficult to determine just where you caught the virus that led to your plantar warts. Gyms can play host to the plantar warts virus, as well as many other germs. It’s a good idea to wear shower shoes or flip-flops in public showers at your gym and in dorms. HPV likes the damp environment found in locker rooms, pool showers, and the like.
Plantar warts stick to feet
Although plantar warts like to grow and spread, they will remain on your feet. They only grow on the type of skin found on the bottom of your feet.
The warts can be painful
Plantar warts can be very uncomfortable. As they spread and grow, the warts can press against the nerves in your foot, causing sharp pain and burning as you walk.
They are contagious
Plantar warts are contagious, but for some reason, are much more common in youth 12-16 years old. The virus also targets those individuals with weakened immune systems.
Symptoms of plantar warts
Typically, your first symptom of plantar warts will be pain and tenderness when you apply pressure to your foot. This can feel something like a deep bruise. When you examine your foot you’ll see the telltale round spot with the black dot, as described above.
You may notice a rough, grainy lesion on the sole of your foot. The lesion will be fleshy in appearance and usually be at the front (ball) of your underfoot, on the underside of your toes, or along your heel. When you apply pressure, it will hurt.
Get rid of your plantar warts for good
Jeffery W. LaMour, DPM, PA, takes plantar warts, and all foot problems, very seriously. If your feet are causing you pain, it can affect every aspect of your daily life. Don’t endure painful, bothersome plantar warts. We can help.
Dr. LaMour specializes in a full range of services to help put an end to your foot pain, including plantar warts. Let us address your plantar warts and get rid of them once and for all. Dr. LaMour determines the best approach to remove your painful, unsightly, plantar warts. Contact one of Dr. LaMour’s two offices — in Austin and Pflugerville, Texas — today and say “so long” to your plantar warts.