While finding one or several warts on your foot can be uncomfortable, they do not pose a serious health risk, and can usually be treated through a few simple steps. Also known as plantar warts, they are caused when a particular strain of HPV (human papillomavirus) enters the body through small cracks or cuts in the skin of the feet. In cases where the warts become painful and do not resolve on their own, it may become necessary to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist to have them removed.
What is the Difference Between a Foot Wart and a Corn or Callous?
At first glance, warts can resemble other common growths on the feet, like corns and callouses. Corns and callouses are layers of dead skin that grow over an area of the foot that has been irritated, usually by friction caused by ill-fitting shoes, and chafing from physical activities like running or hiking. Warts are the result of a viral infection.
Gainesville podiatrist Dr. Mukesh Bhakta, D.P.M., of Prince William Foot & Ankle Center recommends that patients with warts on the feet follow a few basic guidelines to help prevent the warts from spreading:
- Warts thrive in warm, moist environments; therefore keeping the feet dry and clean should be a priority.
- Try to minimize direct contact with the warts
- Avoid walking barefoot, particularly on dirty surfaces like sidewalks
- Wear clean socks and shoes every day
Most Common Symptoms of Plantar Warts
- Fleshy, growth (lesion) on the bottom of the foot or toes, usually with black dots
- Pain when pressure is applied during walking or standing
- Changes in color
- Does not heal on its own or grows back over time
If unsure whether a lesion on or around the feet or ankle is a wart, it is important to consult with a foot specialist.
Potential Complications from Plantar Warts
While the majority of cases of plantar warts are harmless, people with underlying health conditions and otherwise compromised immune systems should seek medical treatment and supervision for warts, specifically if you are suffering from diabetes, or taking medication for HIV/AIDS.
Are you suffering from painful plantar warts or other foot injury or condition? Contact the Prince William Foot & Ankle Center at 703-753-3338 to request a consultation with a podiatrist in Gainesville today!