Plantar warts are fleshy growths that develop on the side or bottom of the foot, causing significant pain when walking or when pressure is applied to the wart. Like other types of warts, a virus that enters the skin causes plantar warts, and while you may see a portion of the wart extending from the surface of the foot, a large part of the wart extends below the skin. Those deep roots are why it’s so important to see a dermatologist at the first sign of a wart instead of relying on over-the-counter products that tend to be ineffective in eliminating the virus completely.
How are plantar warts spread?
Wearing the shoes of a person who has warts can transmit plantar warts, and walking barefoot on damp surfaces like locker room floors and showers, or public pools can also pick them up. Once the virus is picked up, it can easily enter the skin through any tiny opening, including tiny cuts and blisters. Feet that have been softened by water are also more prone to becoming infected. Although anyone can be infected with the virus that causes plantar warts, people with weakened immune systems or compromised circulation (such as people with diabetes) tend to have an increased risk for warts.
How can a dermatologist treat plantar warts?
At Avail Dermatology, we use a variety of methods to treat warts, including both topical preparations that treat warts through the skin and oral medications that target the virus systemically through the bloodstream. Often, warts are better treated with liquid nitrogen, which is used to “freeze” warts and destroy the infected tissue, or with minimally invasive surgical techniques to remove especially deep warts. While it may be tempting to try to remove a wart with an over-the-counter drugstore product, these products are not designed to reach the deeper layers where the virus hides, which means that although you may see some superficial improvement, the wart will recur as the virus continues to replicate.
What should I do if I think I have a plantar wart?
Avail Dermatology uses the most advanced methods to diagnose warts and other growths to ensure every patient gets the most effective treatment for optimal outcomes. If you have a fleshy growth on your foot, you should have it evaluated as soon as possible to determine its underlying cause and get the most appropriate treatment. Call Avail Dermatology at 770-251-5111 to schedule an evaluation today.