What is Plantar Wart?
Warts are caused by a certain infection of the skin. The infection occurs by the Human Papilloma Virus or HPV. It is one of the most common infections of the skin. So, what is plantar wart? Do you want to know? Then know that plantar warts are warts that grow on the foot sole or the plantar surface. Such warts can be found almost anywhere on foot. However, they produce signs in areas of friction and pressure. The Human Papilloma Virus just infects the superficial skin layer. This produces callus-like thickened growth that can become tender is located in areas that are subject to pressure.
Different Types of Plantar Warts
Just like the other wart varieties, HPV is the cause of plantar warts. Plantar warts on the toe and plantar warts on feet are common. Plantar warts on hand and plantar warts on finger are called palmer warts. All kinds of plantar warts and palmer warts are harmless while only causing a bit of embarrassment because of their unsightly appearance. Medical treatment is necessary for plantar warts when they increase in size or cause pain.
What Do Plantar Warts Look Like?
Plantar warts are hard and flat. They have a very rough surface and well-defined boundaries. Such warts are fleshier if they are located on the exterior side of the foot. Plantar warts can also grow inwards. Such warts are gray and black with their centers appearing in the form of black pinpoints. Such warts are treatment resistant and might re-occur in patients.
Symptoms of Plantar Warts
Plantar warts can grow almost anywhere on the body, but they are common in the foot and hand areas. Individuals who are in the habit of using public toiletries and showers are at high risk of being infected by the virus that causes plantar warts. A skin trauma or a very weak immune system might be the symptoms of plantar warts. Such warts can even turn precancerous skin lesions within a time span of few weeks or months. Most of the times, plantar warts are not harmful and might disappear on their own. However, in some cases, patients might have to undergo painful treatment for plantar wart removal. It is to be noted that plantar wart pain causes a lot of discomforts. Some of the most significant signs of plantar warts include:
- Thickened and hard skin around a well-defined spot on the skin. The spot shows an inward growing wart.
- A fleshy, grainy and small growth or lesion on the base of forefoot, heel or toes.
- A lesion interrupting the normal ridges and lines in the foot skin
- Black pinpoints known as wart seeds. They are clotted and small blood vessels.
- Tenderness or pain while standing and walking.
It is not easy to identify the signs of plantar warts. Thickened skin is one sign of plantar warts that cannot be detected very easily. Plantar warts appear like calluses. They have an appearance like the thickened skin on the feet soles. The tissue is thick and tough.
Causes of Plantar Warts
HPV or Human Papilloma Virus causes plantar warts. The same virus also causes warts on the other parts of the body. People acquire this virus when they walk barefoot in different public areas and even on unclean surfaces. HPV exists in warm and moist environments. It is therefore common to find this virus in communal bathing facilities.
Plantar warts might grow very fast if they are left untreated. These warts spread by touching, scratching and contacting the skin of an already infected individual. Plantar warts also have the propensity to bleed. Further infections can also be the result of unavoided contact with an infected person. Plantar warts appearing on the plantar side of the foot like the balls of the feet or the heels might cause burning and sharp sensations. These are painful when the sufferer bears the weight of his or her body on his foot or rather on the wart.
Plantar Wart Diagnosis
Doctors diagnose plantar warts by following the techniques detailed below:
- Examining the lesion
- The lesion is parsed with a scalpel and is checked for the signs of pinpoint dots that are dark. Doctors also check for small clotted blood vessels.
- A small part of the lesion is removed. This is called shave biopsy. This part is sent to the laboratory for examination. Sometimes, the pathologist views the shaved surface under a microscope for determining the presence of HPV. The pathologist might also look for other prominent pathological signs indicating plantar warts.
- Podiatrists also look at the plantar side of the foot and the ankles for identifying the symptoms indicating the presence of plantar warts.
The surgeon or the podiatrist might use other procedures for diagnosing plantar warts if it cannot be diagnosed accurately through simple visual inspection.
Preventing Plantar Warts
Prevention is always one of the most important things that you must have in mind when it comes to being treated for plantar warts. Preventing plantar warts is a straightforward procedure. Following some small steps can help you in preventing this treacherous condition.
- You must avoid walking on mist surfaces in public areas like swimming pools and toiletries.
- It is also crucial for you to use flip-flops for walking. This helps in preventing HPV from infecting the foot skin. Infections and wounds on the plantar side of the foot need to be covered. They must be dressed properly for avoiding HPV from infiltrating the living tissue lying underneath.
Apart from the above-mentioned prevention methods, it is suggested to wear open shoes sometimes. This helps in keeping the feet dry.
A plantar wart is a condition that can make it very painful for you to walk or stand. Therefore, it is necessary for you to get the right treatment for this condition as soon as possible.