Plantar Warts

When you think of warts, often toads and witches come to mind, but the fact is, anybody can contract the virus that causes warts, and when these skin growths show up on the bottom of your feet, they can become quite painful and even spread. Unfortunately, there isn’t a magic spell that can help you – but Heartland Foot and Ankle Associates can!

Once Upon a Time (The Beginnings of a Wart)

All it takes is a small opening in your skin for the human papilloma virus, or HPV, to enter and cause an acceleration of skin growth that builds up to form an ugly bump. When a wart develops on the sole of the foot, in high-pressure areas especially, this bump grows inward, appearing like a flat rough, layer of skin. This is why plantar warts are often mistaken as a corn or callus, however, there are ways to tell the difference– warts have a tiny black dot in the center of the hardened skin. In addition, they can grow singularly, but also in clusters (mosaic warts), and they can spread to other parts of your body – as well as other people!

Warts are Wicked to Treat – But We Can Help!

Once the virus takes hold, it likes to stick around! Warts are stubborn and difficult to get rid of, but we can help. Cryo therapy can be used to freeze infected tissues. This is performed right in our office followed by the removal of dead skin layers. This process typically needs to be repeated after a few weeks and is often combined with oral medication. We also offer a topical option called VerruStat, with a high level of salicylic acid as well as a sealing agent that keeps the medicine in place.  Over-the-counter topicals and medicated bandages can be used in between visits as well. If the wart is causing you an extreme amount of pain and these methods are not proving successful, we can also excise the wart, surgically removing it. 

Kiss Your Warts Good-Bye!

Taking preventative measures is key to not only avoiding warts in the first place, but also protecting yourself from the virus coming back (and it will if you’re not careful)! To reduce your risk:

  • Avoid contact with anyone who has a wart.
  • Do not share footwear, towels, or pedicure tools.
  • Keep feet (and what’s on them!) clean and dry. Change out of sweaty socks and shoes regularly. Warts like warm and wet environments!
  • Do not pick at or scratch your wart!
  • Never walk barefoot in public places like pool decks, saunas, locker rooms, and gym showers where the virus can be lingering.

If you follow these steps you should stay clear of painful plantar warts – but you never know what’s lurking out there, so keep a close eye on your feet and if you do spot the signs of a wart, come see us for treatment right away. You can reach our Bloomington, IL office at (309) 661-9975. We’ll help you live happily ever after, wart-free!