What Are Plantar Warts?
Plantar warts are caused by an infection of the human papilloma virus, or HPV.
All it takes is a small opening or weakness in the skin for the virus to take up residence beneath. This causes an acceleration of skin growth that can lead to:
- Rough, grainy patches – often at the base of the toes, forefoot, or heel
- Thickened skin or calluses
- Tiny black spots in a wart (sometimes referred to as “seeds,” but they are actually clotted blood vessels)
- Interruptions in the normal lines and ridges of the skin where growths have occurred
Plantar warts can grow singularly, but also in clusters (known as mosaic warts). They can also spread across the feet over time, as well as to other areas of the skin.
Part of what makes plantar warts so stubborn and long-lasting is how they reside only in the upper layers of the skin. This helps keep the virus out of the typical “range” of our immune system, letting them exist unopposed.
There may be some cases in which Swift is ineffective or not recommended for a patient. If that is the case, we will fully discuss other potential wart removal options with you (such as laser therapy) and why we believe our recommendations would best suit your needs. We will also answer any and all questions you may have before you decide how you would like to move forward with treatment.
Preventing Plantar Warts
Getting rid of plantar warts does not mean they could never return. And if you have never had plantar warts in the first place, it pays to take simple steps to reduce your risk of getting them!
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Avoid direct contact with warts – yours or anyone else’s. Wash your hands immediately after touching one.
- Do not share footwear, towels, or pedicure tools.
- Keep your feet and socks clean and dry. Change out of sweaty socks and shoes regularly, as the virus loves warm, wet environments.
- Never walk barefoot in public places like saunas, locker rooms, and public showers.
Following these steps can help you steer clear of problematic plantar warts, but an infection can still happen despite our best efforts. If you spot the signs of plantar warts, come see us for treatment right away. The sooner we can begin, the better!
Contact our office by phone or fill out our online contact form to request an appointment.