What are Plantar Warts?
Plantar warts (Verrucae, Papilloma) are the same as normal warts, benign non cancerous growths, with the difference being that plantar warts form on the sole, ball or heel of your foot where the pressure from standing and walking can cause them to grow upwards into the foot.
What causes Plantar Warts?
Plantar warts can occur when the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) invades the body through tiny cuts or breaks in the skin on the bottom of the foot. Normally antibodies found in the blood destroy the HPV, but in some cases, it takes refuge in the wounds to the skin and causes Plantar warts.
Plantar warts are contagious and are often picked up from contaminated surfaces such as the floors of public pools, locker rooms and showers, even foot spas and whirlpools. They can also be spread through touching another person’s wart or using their contaminated socks and towels. It’s best to take precautions by wearing thongs or flip-flops in public areas and don’t share towels or socks with someone who has a plantar wart.
What do Plantar Warts look like?
Plantar warts are usually rough and spongy, and can have a grey, brown or yellowish colour with small dark pinpoints. These pinpoints are the capillaries which supply the blood to the wart. The structure of a plantar wart is like an iceberg, the part you see on the surface is only a very small part of the whole growth with the rest lying beneath your skin at possibly double the size!
Plantar warts can cause pain and people often comment they feel a lump on the bottom of their foot when standing, as if they have a small pebble in their shoe. The pressure from standing often means that plantar warts are prevented from rising much above the skins surface. If left untreated the warts can grow and spread, with some severe cases resulting in an alteration to your gait or posture.
Below are some images to assist with identifying Plantar warts:
How are Plantar Warts treated?
At Medical Pedicure we have trained Podiatrists’ who have experience in dealing with Plantar warts and providing appropriate treatments for all levels of conditions. As Plantar warts are a virus and in many cases are hard to treat it is advised that you contact a Podiatrist to assist with their removal and treatment.
Over the counter medications can often cause more harm than good and can damage healthy skin and ”home surgery” is also not recommended because you may cause injury and are unlikely to be able to remove the growth entirely.