One of the most common conditions we treat at Central Jersey Ankle& Foot Care Specialists is Plantar Warts. Although these warts are noncancerous and benign, they are nonetheless uncomfortable and in many cases require the attention of your podiatrist.
How Do You Know if it’s a Plantar Wart?
Although only a trained foot doctor can diagnose a Plantar Wart, there are some signs that you may notice. Plantar Warts are usually rough in texture and spongy. Most are gray, brown, or yellow with dark little points in the center of the wart. These dark points are actually tiny capillaries that supply blood to the wart. Plantar Warts usually occur on the sole, heel, or ball of the foot. Our board certified foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Christopher J. Mullin and Dr. Jessica A. Addeo, will conduct a complete examination of your foot and specifically of the wart itself to confirm that it is a Plantar Wart. Plantar Warts can be Solitary—one wart growing alone; or Mosaic—a cluster of several small warts growing close together. Untreated solitary warts often turn into Mosaic warts.
What Causes Plantar Warts?
The human papilloma virus (HPV) is the cause of Plantar Warts. This virus invades the body through the skin on the bottom of the feet, often through cuts or cracks in the skin. The virus is often present on surfaces such as floors in public locker rooms, showers, or public pools. People who walk barefoot in these types of places are more likely to get Plantar Warts. Patients with weakened immune systems are at a great risk for Plantar Warts.
Although Plantar Warts can disappear on their own, it may take a long time. Left untreated, the wart or warts may grow up to 1-inch across and become painful, like a stone in your shoe, when walking. Your foot and ankle surgeon may use topical or oral medications to treat Plantar Warts. Other treatment options include laser therapy, cryotherapy (freezing), acid treatments, and surgery.