Warts are a common skin condition that is often more unsightly than anything else. However, when warts occur on the bottom of your feet—what’s known as a plantar wart—they’re more likely to cause you trouble, because that location tends to make warts both more painful and more persistent. It also makes them more difficult to remove than warts on other areas of the body.
Dr. Pardis Kelly, Podiatrist and Specialist in Plantar Warts.
A plantar wart, like any other wart, is a viral infection caused by certain strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV). The virus infects the top layers of the epidermis, entering by cuts or breaks in the skin, and forms a rough bump of overgrown skin cells. Unfortunately, warts on the feet are most common in the areas that receive the most pressure—the soles, heels, balls, and toes—which flatten the warts and send them deeper into your skin. This can make walking, running, or even just standing painful.
The virus that causes warts thrives in warm, moist environments. It’s most frequently picked up in places like locker rooms or near swimming pools where people regularly walk barefoot, which is why you should always wear some type of shoes, even just flip flops, to protect your feet in such places. Once you have a wart, though, the warm, moist conditions inside your shoes can cause it to spread, making it a good idea to deal with a plantar wart sooner rather than later.
Dr. Paris Kelly provides state-of-the-art treatment of plantar warts at her new location in Las Vegas.
The other problem with plantar warts is that they often look like another common foot problem—corns. A corn is also a rough bump on the foot that feels tender or painful, but unlike a wart, it is caused by too much pressure or friction rather than a virus. The most common reason someone develops corns is because they’re wearing shoes that don’t fit correctly.
It can be difficult to spot the difference between a plantar wart and a corn. However, if you know what you’re looking for, a close look will help distinguish the two. A plantar wart will have small black dots on its surface, which are tiny blood vessels. A corn will look like a hard raised bump surrounded by dry, flaky skin, without any black dots. If you’re still having trouble telling the difference, you should check with Dr. Kelly
your podiatrist before you do anything else—the usual care advice for a corn not only won’t help a wart, but it might also spread the virus further.
There are plenty of over-the-counter remedies available for warts in any drugstore, but unfortunately, they’re typically not very effective for plantar warts. Most removal patches, liquids, or gels are designed to soften and remove the surface layer of infected skin, but they won’t reach far enough to get to the deep layers of a plantar wart. You can easily end up treating the same wart over and over yourself, only to have it come back.
Plantar warts are also not good candidates for cryotherapy, in which a wart is frozen off. Because it grows inward, a plantar wart requires multiple cryotherapy treatments to reach all the affected tissue, and each treatment increases the risk that surrounding healthy tissue might be damaged. While it can be tempting to choose an option that promises to get rid of your wart fast, it’s not a good choice if the cure ends up doing more harm.
Your best option? Come see Dr. Kelly at Las Vegas Footcare. As an expert podiatrist, she will examine your feet, determine the extent of your problem, and recommend the correct treatment to eliminate your plantar warts. With time and consistent care, she can get rid of the warts you have and design an effective prevention plan geared to your lifestyle to keep them from coming back. To request an appointment, contact us online or call our office directly at 702-605-6220.