What are Plantar Warts?
A plantar wart, or foot wart, is similar to warts found on other parts of the body, and are caused by the human papillomavirus, more commonly known as HPV. Foot warts are small, light colored lesions that grow on the sole of the foot, and sometimes pieces of hardened skin grow over them. They are typically white in appearance, and can look like cauliflower or a callus. However, warts are different from calluses in that striations in toe prints (like finger prints), go around the lesion, not through it.
Foot warts can also be quite irritating or painful if left untreated. Like most viruses, plantar warts are not “curable”, but are self-limiting, meaning they do not continue to spread throughout the body if left untreated. Nonetheless, treatment with a podiatrist for foot warts is important to reduce pain, decrease the lifespan of the wart, and eliminate chances for spread. If you live in Michigan and want to rid yourself of an irritating wart, please contact Dr. Young at the bottom of this page.
How are Foot Warts Caused?
There are as many as 10 different strains of human papillomavirus that cause plantar warts. The virus must be contracted through direct contact to an infected host with an exposed part of the skin, usually from tiny cuts or abrasions. Warts generally do not form for several months after exposure.
How can Plantar Warts be prevented?
Plantar warts require direct exposure to the virus, so avoid skin contact with places and objects that have a high likelihood of contamination. Common areas of exposure include public swimming pools and changing rooms, and chance for exposure can be reduced by using sandals in changing rooms, avoiding towel sharing, and not making direct contact with benches and other high-traffic areas.