Warts Types Plantar

Plantar warts, or foot warts, are basically common warts that grow on the bottom of your feet. Because of the pressure of your body weight, a plantar wart grows in, not out.

That inward growth is also the reason why a plantar wart is so painful. Life with a plantar wart can feel like you’ve got a rock in your shoe that you can’t shake out. Pain in the foot is often the first indication of a potential plantar wart.

A Callus vs. a Wart on Foot Surface

Plantar warts are rough with well-defined boundaries, while calluses are simply areas of thickened skin. Foot warts may have a black spot in the middle, which is actually a small blood clot, and may bleed if the surface is rubbed away. Calluses do not have these small, seed-like centers. A plantar wart is also more likely to be sensitive to side-to-side pressure than a callus.

How Plantar Warts Are Spread

Like all warts, foot warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV)—HPV type 1, to be precise. This virus is contagious and can survive for months without a human host. HPV type 1 prefers warm, moist environments, like locker rooms and communal showers. This explains why young people, dorm residents and gym members are most likely to get plantar warts.

Plantar warts spread through direct contact, when the HPV virus gets into your body through cuts and abrasions on your feet. Sharing a towel used by someone with plantar warts can also spread the virus, causing foot warts.

Plantar Wart Removal

It’s best to treat plantar warts as soon as you notice them. Though foot warts will sometimes go away on their own, they can also grow up to one inch in circumference and develop into a cluster.

Once plantar warts have a firm foothold, they can become much more difficult to treat. Physicians have been unable to find one single treatment that will get rid of all foot warts in all cases. Fortunately, a number of different treatment options are available for plantar warts, both over-the-counter and through a physician.

While some maintain that self-treatment is a viable option for mild cases of a wart on foot surfaces, others argue that only a doctor should do plantar wart removal. Some individuals should always see a doctor for plantar wart removal, such as diabetics.

Self-treatment methods for a wart on foot surfaces include over-the-counter preparations of salicylic acid, which can neutralize your plantar wart. Covering your plantar wart with duct tape can also be effective.

However, since plantar warts can be so tenacious, it’s often necessary to see a doctor for effective plantar wart removal. Your doctor may remove foot warts by freezing them off with liquid nitrogen, or using electrosurgery or lasers to remove them.

Resources

Dinulos, J. (2008). Warts. Retrieved April 25, 2010, from: http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec10/ch122/ch122c.html.

Health Communities.com. (2000). Plantar warts. Retrieved April 25, 2010, from: http://www.podiatrychannel.com/plantarwarts/index.shtml.

Skinsight. (2008). Common wartinformation for adults. Retrieved April 25, 2010, from: http://www.skinsight.com/adult/commonWart.htm.

Warts Information Center. (2010). Plantar warts. Retrieved April 25, 2010, from: http://www.warts.org/plantar-warts.html.