What Are Plantar Warts?

Warts are small growths that may occur anywhere on the body. Plantar is a term derived from a Latin phrase which means “the sole of the foot.” Plantar warts, therefore, are those that occur on the soles of the feet.

Plantar warts are caused by your body’s reaction to a viral infection that penetrates the skin of the foot. Once there, it may remain there for many months before causing the development of the wart itself. Because of the pressure of body weight during walking, plantar warts tend to grow inward, and develop hard callused tissue over them. Therefore, they often are confused with corns or calluses.

Warts contain many blood vessels and nerve endings, which can cause them to bleed profusely when cut. It is recommended that you never attempt to cut or trim plantar warts on your own. Pressure against the nerve endings can produce considerable pain as well. Warts can spread from one part of your body to another, and may occur singularly or in clusters. They also range in size from a small pinhead to larger than a half dollar.

Warts occur more commonly in younger age groups. It seems that people acquire a certain degree of resistance or immunity by adulthood. Certain persons are more prone to develop warts, and it appears to be related to their general body defense mechanisms and immune status.

Treatment Of Plantar Warts

The best treatment for plantar warts destroys the wart with little or no pain, encourages the body’s immune response, and allows the skin and tissues of the foot to heal unchanged at the end of treatment. Many chemicals and acids can stimulate this response. Warts can be destroyed by freezing with dry ice or liquid nitrogen, or by laser or surgical removal. In general, it is best to avoid surgical removal on the ball of the foot or heel as this may produce a permanent, painful scar. Effective treatment depends on some help from the body’s immune system.

In children, the least painful treatment usually is employed first. If the warts are resistant, it may take several treatments to destroy them. This still is preferable to surgical excision, which may result in permanent painful scar tissue.

It is best to discuss the method of treatment that would be the best for your situation with one of our foot specialists or podiatric surgeons as each case may have special requirements. Contact A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Center today for a consultation!

ASA Treatment Facilities

The physicians and staff of the A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Centers maintain two complete podiatric clinical facilities, and provide 24-hour emergency service. We participate in most health plans including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medicare, and Medicaid. We complete and file all necessary insurance forms, making every effort to assure you of maximum benefits with minimum out-of-pocket expenses.

Contact Us Today!

Are you or your child dealing with annoying, painful plantar warts? If so, contact your local podiatrist at A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Center today to schedule an appointment to get them examined and find the perfect treatment plan!