Small, rough, bumpy growths on the soles of your feet adding pain to every step or making it feel like you’re walking on pebbles? Plantar warts may be to blame. A common podiatric complaint, plantar warts are a type of skin infection caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). The highly-contagious virus thrives in warm, moist environments and produces callus-like warts that can multiply, spread, and persist for years, easily evading home remedies and over-the-counter removal methods to come back again and again.
Don’t get stuck in a disappointing cycle of remission and recurrence. If you’re struggling with plantar warts, prompt professional treatment can help you put the infection (and its painful, unsightly growths) behind you. Here’s what you should know about plantar warts, including how the exceptional doctors of podiatric medicine (DPM) at Shenandoah Podiatry can treat stubborn warts and help you prevent them from returning.
Recognizing Plantar Warts: Signs and Symptoms
Plantar warts, which form on the weight-bearing areas of the feet (like the ball of the foot, heel or toes), look different than common warts that develop on the top of the foot or elsewhere on the body. While common warts are usually raised and fleshy, plantar warts are typically hard and flat, with rough surfaces, well-defined borders, and centers with one or more black pinpoints. Though these pinpoints are often called “wart seeds,” they’re actually small, clotted blood vessels. On fair skin, plantar warts are often gray or brown in color; however, on brown or black complexions, the growth may appear lighter than the surrounding skin. Plantar warts can also callus over and grow inward or multiply and form in clusters (called mosaic warts).
Plantar Wart Treatment Options
The podiatrists in our Roanoke, Virginia office offer several effective plantar wart treatment options. Our recommendations may include:
- A cryotherapy procedure that uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart, allowing a blister to form that will eventually peel off
- An immunotherapy treatment that involves applying a topical chemical like diphencyprone (DCP) to the surface of the growth, causing a mild allergic reaction that stimulates healing
- An advanced laser therapy procedure that uses light and heat to destroy the tiny blood vessels inside the wart, cutting off its blood supply
- Topical medicines, such as those that contain cantharidin, which causes a blister to form under the wart, cutting off the blood supply so that the wart can be removed
- Prevention measures, such as avoiding contact with warts, keeping your feet clean and dry, and wearing sandals or other foot protection at the swimming pool, gym, and other places people often go barefoot
After a thorough examination, we can discuss your plantar wart treatment options and help you determine which is right for you. Our podiatric care is performed in a relaxing, calming atmosphere that was specially designed with your comfort in mind.
When to See a Podiatrist
Though anyone can benefit from prompt podiatric treatment to clear up a plantar warts skin infection and prevent the painful, unsightly growths from returning, professional care is particularly important if you have diabetes or other health problems that cause poor feeling in the feet or a weakened immune system. You should also see a podiatrist if the warts bleed or change shape, cause pain that interferes with your regular activities, or come back after resolving for a time. Not even sure if the growth on your foot is a wart? Seeing a podiatrist to rule out more serious foot lesions, such as carcinomas and melanomas, is vital. Ready to say goodbye to plantar warts for good?
Schedule an Appointment
Plantar warts causing pain, embarrassment, or gait problems? Don’t discount these painful, unsightly growths as a simple nuisance. Get the professional podiatric care you need to stop an HPV infection and the resulting plantar warts in their tracks. Complete and submit the online contact form or call Shenandoah Podiatry at 540-904-1458 to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.