When you build a sand castle, you pile sand up on the surface of the shore until the formation stands tall. Although not as fun or welcomed, warts form in a similar way. Caused by the human papillomavirus, or HPV, all the virus needs is a tiny break in the skin to enter and begin to build up layer upon layer on the surface of your skin. Once the infection sets in, not only is it difficult to get rid of, but it can easily spread. However, with prompt treatment and prevention steps, you don’t have to be a “worry wart!”
Signs of Invasion
There are several different types of these skin growths, including plantar warts which are typically found on the soles (or plantar surface) of your feet. They can vary in size and sometimes grow in clusters known as the mosaic variety. Often, because of the pressure placed upon them from walking, plantar warts grow inward and become painful. A tell-tale sign of their formation is a small black dot in the center of the hardened area. The discomfort of such a growth can feel as though you are stepping on a pebble.
Closing the Drawbridge
The virus can spread person-to-person, as well as from touching an existing wart, then touching something else. It can also linger on towels, rugs, razors and other personal items, so this is one case in which sharing is not encouraged! Prevent the skin growths from spreading, or even occurring in the first place, by closing off the virus’s entry. Make it a rule to always wear shoes in public places, especially pool areas, locker rooms, and gyms. If you do notice a wart, resist touching it and try your best to keep your foot dry—moisture encourages the spread. Next, make an appointment with Dr. Jennifer Keller or Dr. Marshal Gwynn at Shenandoah Podiatry in VA. We can treat your condition and stop its progression, so the sooner you come in, the better.
We will assess the problem and possibly study a sample of the tissue to confirm the diagnosis. We can then recommend medications as an initial treatment for warts. These typically have salicylic acid as an ingredient, and can come in the form of a liquid, gel, or pad to be applied daily. Believe it or not, you can also try covering the affected area with duct tape, then changing out the tape every few days—it will peel away layers with it! These methods all take time, as the condition can be stubborn. If such remedies are not affective, we can prescribe stronger medicine, or inject it at the site. We can also provide cryotherapy, which is a technique that freezes the layers to remove them. For extreme cases, there are surgical procedures that can be performed.
Talk to the Queen and King of Care
To learn more about treatment for warts, or if you see signs of their formation, don’t worry—we can help. To make an appointment with Dr. Jennifer Keller or Dr. Marshal Gwynn, you can call our Roanoke, VA office at (540) 904-1458, or you can reach our Blacksburg location at (540) 808-4343. We will treat you like royalty!