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Plantar Warts - What You Need To Know

Pesky plantar warts can disrupt your day-to-day and cause discomfort whether they go away on their own or need extra attention from your local healthcare provider for relief. Scroll down to learn everything you need to know, what causes them, prevention, and how to get rid of them.


Plantar Wart man in pain grabbing heel


Most of us are familiar with warts that typically show up on our toes and hands (small hard raised bumps). Plantar warts are similar, except they appear on the bottom of peoples feet and are usually flat and round. These warts most often appear on the high pressure areas, like the heel and balls of your feet.


 

How Do I Know If I Have A Plantar Wart?


Plantar warts have a few key characteristics that make them easy to spot. A rough thick surface, with discoloration that could range from lighter than your skin tone, to yellow, pink or purple is an early indicator of a plantar wart. There are also typically black or brown specks that look almost like poppy seeds. These are blood vessels or dried blood clots depending on the case. Another identifiable feature is the possibility of pain, tenderness or bleeding. They typically show up on the bottoms of your feet, your heels or around your toes. Plantar warts are caused by HPV entering the body through tiny cuts or breaks in the skin on the bottom of your feet.


Most plantar warts will go away on their own, with little to no treatment required as many do not cause any pain. They are especially common in children 12 and under. Home remedies like apple cider vinegar, salicylic acid and duct tape are common and usually work after several weeks of treatment. Other times they will spread or keep coming back and may require care from a doctor. Because they are contagious, taking action when you notice one is always the best method even if they are not causing any pain or issues.


How Do I Prevent A Plantar Wart?


Preventing a plantar wart can seem daunting but there are lots of ways to prevent plantar warts from causing you a headache in the future.


Avoid direct contact with warts.

While this may seem obvious, it is important to limit contact with the wart to prevent the spread to friends and family or other parts of your own body.


Keep feet clean and dry.

HPV thrives in moist environments with warm air. Keeping your feet clean and dry makes it a difficult place for bacteria or viruses to grow.


Wear sandals or shoes in public areas.

Community swimming pools, gym showers, and locker rooms are all examples of where foot protection is recommended to prevent plantar warts and other bacterial infections from causing problems with your feet.


Don't pick or scratch at warts.

Picking and trying to remove a plantar wart before it is ready can cause even more pain than if you had just left it alone. Picking at them also can reopen a healing wound and make you more susceptible to infections.


When Should I See A Doctor For Plantar Warts?


Even with all the home remedies and prevention, plantar warts still happen. Its estimated that around 10% of the population has plantar warts at any given moment. Plantar warts are also very commonly treated and seen by podiatrists. Help from a qualified doctor is comforting, as it takes away the guessing game of home remedies while offering a solution to your pain.


Contact a doctor if the symptoms if your plantar warts have become more severe, (swelling, bleeding, interfering with day to day activities) or if you have a weakened immune system or diabetes as your feet may need extra help to come back happy and healthy. Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona is here for you, with qualified local doctors near you and over 5 locations in the valley. Contact us today to get the care you deserve.



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