Warts, regardless of where they appear on your body, are caused by a virus. They are generally unsightly, and when they occur on your feet, they can be painful. Dr. Ankur Dharia treats plantar warts and can help you be rid of your warts and also teach you how to avoid them in the future.
The cause of warts
People have had warts throughout history. Generally, warts are associated with foul things, like witches. They appear throughout folk tales and are even mentioned by Hippocrates. Happily, today, we know exactly what causes them and how to get rid of them.
Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), a virus with many types, and those that cause plantar warts are types 1, 2, 4, 60, and 63. You must come in direct contact with the virus to contract it, and that’s most likely to happen in a warm, damp place such as around a swimming pool or in a locker room.
As you age, you build immunity to the virus that causes warts, so plantar warts are most common in children and young adults. However, if you have a weakened immune system, you may also be more vulnerable to warts.
How to know it’s a wart
Plantar warts are often painful. A small, bumpy growth on the sole of your foot that hurts when you put pressure on it could well be a plantar wart. Plantar warts are often on your heel or at the base of your toes.
It may have small black dots on it, which are sometimes called “wart seeds,” but are really clotted blood vessels. You may develop a callus over the wart.
Treatments for warts
Usually the first line of treatment for a wart is using salicylic acid, which is available as an over-the-counter cream. If that doesn’t work, Dr. Dharia has other treatment options.
He may suggest cryotherapy, which is a procedure that freezes the warts, or he may recommend a minor surgery. The extent of the spread of the warts, the amount of pain you’re in, and many other factors inform Dr. Dharia’s treatment recommendations. He can get rid of your warts, though!
When it’s especially important to see Dr. Dharia
Although warts are ugly and can be painful, they usually aren’t dangerous. There are some cases, though, when medical care is important.
For example, if you have diabetes, you may have nerve damage in your feet. It’s particularly important for you to make an appointment if you’re diabetic and notice warts on your feet.
Similarly, if you are immunocompromised because of a chronic condition or medication you take, you should seek medical care as soon as you notice warts.
If you’ve tried over-the-counter products and they didn’t work, or the warts are spreading or keep coming back, you likely need a different treatment.
Finally, if the warts interfere with your daily activities, book an appointment. Plantar warts shouldn’t disrupt your normal life.
If you have questions, or you’re ready to say goodbye to your plantar warts, schedule an appointment at Jersey Foot & Ankle Institute. You can request an appointment online, or you’re welcome to call us at (908) 874-7592, and we’ll be happy to get you scheduled.