Symptoms of Plantar Warts
- Hard, grainy growths on the soles of the feet
- Pain or discomfort when walking or standing
- Flat, rough growths with a central black dot (this is actually a tiny blood vessel)
- Small, fleshy growths with a cauliflower-like appearance
Causes of Plantar Warts
Plantar warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is highly contagious. The virus can be spread by direct skin-to-skin contact, or by contact with contaminated surfaces such as shower floors, swimming pool decks, and public changing rooms. People with weakened immune systems, such as those with HIV/AIDS or undergoing chemotherapy, are more susceptible to developing plantar warts.
Prevention and Treatment
The best way to prevent plantar warts is to practice good hygiene, including washing your feet regularly, keeping your feet dry, and avoiding walking barefoot in public places.
If you have a plantar wart, it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible to avoid complications. Treatment options include:
- Over-the-counter wart removal products
- Cryotherapy, which involves freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen
- Cantharidin, a blistering agent that is applied to the wart and covered with a bandage
- Salicylic acid, a topical treatment that gradually dissolves the wart over time
- In more severe cases, a doctor may need to remove the wart surgically or prescribe antiviral medication.
Plantar warts can be painful and disruptive, but with proper care and attention, they can often be effectively treated and prevented. If you have symptoms of a plantar wart or are experiencing foot pain, it is important to seek medical attention.