Also known as small growths on the heel or other weight-bearing areas of your feet, Plantar warts can also grow beneath the thick layer of skin (callus) due to pressure.
Most plantar warts are caused by a virus that enters your body through cut or other weak spots on the bottom of your feet, known as HPV (human papillomavirus).
Although not considered a serious health concern, plantar warts eventually go away without any treatment. But it is recommended that you see a doctor to have the warts removed or try self-care treatments at home.
Signs and symptoms of plantar warts include:
- A small growth at the base of your toes, heel, or the bottom of your foot
- A callus over the spot where a wart has grown inward
- Clotted blood vessels (“wart seeds”) around the wart
- Pain or tenderness when walking or standing
When To See a Foot Doctor
Call a foot doctor about the plantar wart on your foot if:
- There’s bleeding or any painful changes
- You’ve tried self-care treatment remedies and the wart is still there, or has multiplied
- There’s increased discomfort during physical activities
- There’s a poor sensation in your feet
- You aren’t sure whether the lesion on your foot is a wart
What Causes Plantar Warts to Form?
As previously mentioned, plantar warts are often caused by an infection with HPV on the outer layer of the skin through cuts on the bottom of your feet.
With more than 100 kinds of viruses in existence, HPV is very common. But only a few of them cause plantar warts on your feet.
Transmission Through the HPV Virus
HPV strains that cause plantar warts aren’t highly contagious and each persona’ immune system responds differently to the HPV virus. Not everyone who comes in contact with the virus will develop warts.
Although the virus isn’t easily transmitted by direct contact from one person to another, you may contract the virus by walking barefoot in warm, moist environments like a locker room or around swimming pools.
Who is at Risk?
Anyone walking barefoot around moist environments can contract the virus, but plantar warts are most likely to affect:
- Children and teenagers
- Those with weakened immune systems
- Those who’ve previously had plantar warts
- Those walking around swimming pools and locker rooms barefoot
Plantar Wart Complications
Plantar warts can cause pain and alter your normal posture, eventually changing the way you stand, walk or run while causing muscle or joint discomfort.
Preventing Plantar Warts
To prevent plantar warts, you must:
- Avoid direct contact with warts and immediately wash your hands after coming in contact with one
- Always keep your feet clean and dry and change out your socks daily
- Avoid walking barefoot around moist environments (swimming pools and locker rooms)
- Don’t scratch or pick at warts
At Bartlett Foot Center, we specialize in giving our patients the care, comfort, and convenience they deserve.
If you’re feeling discomfort in the bottom of your foot and are seeking plantar wart treatment, contact us today at (630) 463-6111 today to speak with our experienced Chicagoland foot doctors.