Plantar warts are generally quite harmless and will go away on their own, but they are unsightly, can cause discomfort, and may take up to a couple of years before disappearing. Here at Capital District Podiatry we can provide the treatment you need, but also offer prevention tips in the hope that you can avoid a case in the first place.
It is a common childhood legend that warts are caused by frogs, but they actually develop as the result of a virus known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). This particular virus is quite common and has over 100 different strains. Only a few will actually cause a wart to grow and, for the ones that do, they need an entry point into the skin, like a cut, scrape, or crack in dry skin. These strains of HPV thrive in environments that are warm and moist.
The major symptom of a plantar wart is simply the unsightly growth itself. These often are small, rough, fleshy, and have a grainy texture. There may be black pinpoint dots within the wart, which are commonly mistaken as being “seeds,” but are actually tiny, clotted blood vessels. Given the fact that they normally develop on the bottom of a foot, there will possibly be tenderness or pain while you are either standing or walking.
As we look at treatment for warts, it is important to start with home care. There are kits that can be bought over-the-counter at the store or pharmacy to remove a problem wart, but it is worth mentioning that these products offer questionable results and also pose the risk of damaging the healthy skin around the offensive growth.
There are many urban legends with regard to wart removal, but most do not hold up when tested. One that might have some value is the “duct tape” method. This entails covering a plantar wart with silver duct tape for a few days and then soaking the wart in warm water and using a pumice stone or emery board to remove dead tissue.
Your best bet for effective treatment, however, is to simply come in and let our professionals handle it for you. We can safely use salicylic acid or cryotherapy to tackle the viral growth. Surgery and laser therapy are other methods that may effectively remove plantar warts.
Preventing the formation of these warts on your sole can help to avoid a lot of frustration, discomfort, and embarrassment for you or your loved ones. Some of the best tips for prevention include:
- Do not make direct skin contact with warts, whether your own or someone else’s.
- Keep your feet clean and dry.
- Change your footwear every day, especially your socks.
- When visiting indoor pools or gyms, be sure to wear sandals or shower shoes when on deck, in the locker room, or while using communal showers.
- Avoid the temptation to pick at a wart, which can contribute to spreading the virus that caused it.
- If you are going to use an emery board on one of these growths, make sure it is a disposable one. Do not re-use pumice stones, nail clippers, or emery boards if you are attempting to file one down.
Professional Care for Plantar Warts in Albany, NY
When any member of your family is dealing with the discomfort that can accompany plantar warts, your best course of action is to make an appointment and receive the professional care we provide. Contact us by calling (518) 273-0053 or use our online form to schedule your appointment at either our Clifton Park or Troy, NY offices today.
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