If you ever develop warts on the bottom of your feet, they’re called plantar warts. Although they do not start off painful, they can continue to spread, and, eventually, impact your foot’s function. You may have had these warts for years, or just noticed them starting to form. Whatever the case, we’re here to help you.
Read on to learn more about plantar warts, where they come from, and how the podiatrists at Midwest Podiatry can help you get rid of them for good.
What are Plantar Warts?
Plantar warts are rough growths that develop on the bottom of someone’s toes, heel, or balls of their feet. They’re made up of lawyers of hard skin, and some have tiny, black dots on them. These small dots are called wart seeds, and they are caused by clotted blood vessels.
For people who have darker skin, plantar warts may appear lighter than the rest of their complexion.
The human papillomavirus (HPV) is what causes plantar warts. It enters the body through small cracks in the skin, even ones that are so small, they’re not visible to the naked eye.
Plantar warts aren’t life-threatening, but they are unpleasant to have. Without treatment, they can worsen and become painful to the point they impact your posture and affect how you walk. This, in turn, can lead to the development of other foot problems, like bunions.
Who is Most at Risk?
- Children and teenagers who are unvaccinated against HPV.
- Immunocompromised people, whose bodies cannot fight off HPV as easily.
- People with a history of plantar warts.
- People who walk around barefoot in common-use areas, such as public bathrooms or gym locker rooms.
What are the Symptoms of Plantar Warts?
You might have plantar warts if you notice any of the following symptoms on your feet:
- A rough patch of skin on the bottom of your foot, either on the ball or heel, or the base of one or more of your toes.
- Hard skin over the affected area.
- Back dots that look like pinpricks on the skin.
- A group of warts on the sole of your foot.
- Pain when standing or walking.
If you aren’t sure whether you have a wart, it’s best to err on the side of caution and book an appointment with one of our licensed podiatrists. Plantar warts are easy to diagnose, and our doctors will be able to evaluate them and prescribe treatment, all in one appointment.
How Serious are Plantar Warts?
For people who are immunocompromised due to HIV, organ transplant, or chronic conditions, any type of illness can be dangerous. Because plantar warts are caused by HPV, immediate treatment is necessary for anyone who has a weakened immune system.
People with diabetes are also more prone to foot problems and subsequent complications, so scheduling an appointment with one of our doctors is advised as soon as you notice symptoms.
For healthy individuals, plantar warts are not dangerous by themselves. However, they can continue to develop without treatment, and they may spread, become painful, and affect your posture.
Home Remedies or Professional Treatment?
Many cases of plantar warts will resolve on their own, and there are many over-the-counter treatments you can try that may accelerate the healing process. Some common treatments people try at home include applying apple cider vinegar (diluted with water), rubbing garlic on their feet, and applying wart medications with salicylic acid.
Although it’s not harmful to try at-home treatments for plantar warts, there is mixed evidence supporting them. If you don’t notice any changes to your condition, then you should schedule an appointment at one of our offices.
When to See a Doctor About Treatment
The following are some of the reasons you should come to our doctors for help with your plantar warts:
- You’re immunocompromised.
- Your warts clear up and come back.
- Growths are spreading or the warts are changing.
- The warts are bleeding or causing pain.
It’s also important to know that plantar warts are contagious, so having an affected family member see our podiatrists can accelerate treatment, and help prevent other people in the household from developing them.
Swift therapy is our number-one recommendation for removing plantar warts. Using a low dosage of microwave energy directly to the affected area, Swift helps trigger the body’s natural immune response. Then, your body can fend off the HPV on its own, while simultaneously clearing up the warts.
Swift therapy for plantar warts is fast and easy. It’s extremely safe, and it works for people with all types of plantar warts. Even patients who have suffered from them for years have been completely cleared up in just 12 weeks.
We often recommend Swift as the best treatment option for patients because of its long-lasting results. It also has zero downtime. There is no cutting, numbing, freezing, or other procedures involved. Patients just have to lay still for a few minutes while the doctor performs the procedure. No aftercare is required and you can continue with your day with no issues.
How to Prevent Plantar Warts
Once you receive treatment, following these tips can help you avoid getting plantar warts again in the future.
- Avoid direct skin-to-skin contact with any plantar warts on other people.
- Always keep your feet clean and dry.
- Always wear footwear in public areas.
- Avoid walking around barefoot in public locations (gyms, locker rooms, pools, etc.), but instead, use sandals or flip-flops.
- Don’t pick or scratch at any warts you might have, or try to peel the layers of skin off yourself, as this will cause them to spread.
- Clean and sanitize any tools that you use on your feet, and don’t share them with other people.
- Don’t use the same tools that you apply to plantar warts on any other part of your body, including the healthy parts of your nails or feet.
Say Goodbye to Your Plantar Warts
Contact us today to find the perfect treatment plan for your plantar warts. Swift therapy is our most recommended option, and we can also explore other avenues of treatment, if necessary.
You can call Midwest Podiatry at (612) 788-8778, or schedule an appointment by completing our online form. Don’t let your warts get you down, say goodbye to them instead!