Plantar warts are caused by a virus and can be incredibly painful. Although these nasty growths can take a while to go away, there are preventative measures you can take to reduce your chances of developing them, as well as treatments to get rid of them once they appear. This article will cover the causes and symptoms of plantar warts, the treatment options available, and the prevention tips everyone should follow!
Plantar wart: Quesaco?
A plantar wart is a type of wart that grows on the sole or tip of the foot. It usually presents as small, raised bumps that are often painful when pressure is applied to them, such as when walking or standing. Some people may also experience itching, burning, and/or tenderness around the wart.
The bumps may feature blackheads, which are actually tiny blood vessels. Plantar warts can be solitary or in clusters and can appear anywhere on the foot, but are most commonly found on weight bearing areas like the heel and ball of the foot.
Where do they come from?
Plantar warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a group of over 150 related viruses. Certain types of HPV cause warts on different parts of the body, including the hands, feet, and genitals. Other types are associated with cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, and anus.
The HPV virus is transmitted by direct contact with an infected person or object. For many people, contact with public surfaces like swimming pools, locker rooms, and showers can be an easy way to contract HPV and develop a plantar wart. Other factors can increase the risk of developing a plantar wart, such as having minor injuries to the skin or nails, such as walking barefoot in damp public places, weakened immunity from health conditions such as diabetes, and having had another type of wart before.
How to recognize them?
To help you recognize if you have a plantar wart, look for areas of hard skin on your feet that feel bumpy or spongy when you press on them. On closer inspection, these lesions may show small black dots on their surface, caused by clotted blood vessels. You may also experience some pain when standing or walking due to the inflammation surrounding the presence of the wart.
In some cases, there may also be redness or discoloration around the area. It is important to note that other types of foot lesions, such as calluses or corns, can look like plantar warts. It is therefore important to have them examined by a medical professional before trying any home remedies or self-treatment methods.
How to prevent them?
Plantar warts can be prevented by taking specific precautions when walking barefoot. As far as possible:
- Avoid going barefoot in public places such as swimming pools, locker rooms and saunas.
- Always wear a pair of shower shoes or sandals in these areas to protect your feet from any potential sources of infection.
- Be sure to keep your feet clean and dry at all times.
- Wash them daily with soap and water and make sure they are completely dry before putting on socks or shoes.
It is important to regularly inspect your feet for any signs of plantar warts or other foot problems so that you can treat them quickly if necessary.
Besides following good hygiene practices, vaccinations can also help prevent plantar warts.
HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of developing certain types of warts, including plantar warts. Therefore, people should talk to their health care provider about getting the HPV vaccine if it is recommended for them.
And if you have any, limit the spread.
Finally, another way to prevent plantar warts is not to scratch existing ones on the feet or hands, as this can spread the virus from one area of the body to another and increase the risk of developing more warts than before. It is also important to wear gloves when coming into contact with another person’s wart, so as not to transmit the virus by direct contact with the skin of an infected person.
Overall, adopting good hygiene habits, avoiding public places without wearing protective footwear, and getting vaccinated if possible are essential measures to protect against plantar warts.
What are the treatment options?
Topical medications often contain salicylic acid or other agents that help soften the wart so it can be scraped off by your doctor. Salicylic acid is available over the counter; however, if you are treating a large area with multiple warts, you may need to ask your doctor to prescribe a stronger medication.
Liquid nitrogen freezing (cryotherapy) treatments can also be used to destroy warts and are usually done in a doctor’s office every few weeks until the wart is gone.
Lasers can also be used to treat plantar warts and this procedure is often performed by a dermatologist who specializes in laser therapy. Laser treatments can target specific areas more precisely while causing minimal damage to surrounding skin tissue.
Surgery is another option, but it should generally only be considered when other methods have failed or when several large, deep warts are present and cannot be treated with other types of treatment. The main goal of any surgery is to remove all visible parts of the wart and prevent its reappearance.
Finally, a combination approach may involve the use of two or more different treatment methods together, such as freezing followed by application of topical medication or vice versa. These combination therapies may offer better results than individual approaches due to the increased efficacy and duration of suppression of potential recurrences associated with each individual treatment option.