Warts

What is a wart?

Warts are viral infections in the skin.  They can be very painful.  Warts on the bottom of the foot are called plantar warts.  Warts can appear anywhere on the skin.  Children and teenagers seem to be more susceptible to warts, whereas other people seem to be immune to warts.

 

What causes warts?

Warts are caused by the Human Papiloma Virus.  The virus is able to invade skin through microscopic cuts or abrasions in the skin.  Most people get warts by walking barefoot through dirty areas, or areas that are shared by many people.

 

Symptoms

Warts can grow over a centimeter in diameter if left untreated.  Warts can form a dense, hard core that is very painful to walk on.  Warts will bleed easily if traumatized.  They generally are rough and flat in nature, and may be discolored.  At times a layer of dead skin will cover the wart, making appear like a corn or a callus.

 

Home Treatment

Home treatment is not advised.  Many over the counter wart pads contain acid that kill good skin along with the wart.  These can cause wounds, and the possibility of bacterial infection increases.  Treatment of warts with chemicals should be done by a trained physician.

 

When to see a Podiatrist

Any time a new lesion or bump in the skin is found, it is wise to see a physician.  Warts can go away on their own, but treatment of warts with chemicals, or surgical excision can cure the wart.  Anytime you have pain associated with a wart.

 

Prevention

  • Avoid walking barefoot

  • Change shoes and socks daily

  • Keep feet clean and dry

  • Check children's feet periodically

  • Avoid direct contact with warts from other persons or from other parts of the body

  • Do not ignore growths on, or changes in, your skin

  • Visit your podiatric physician as part of your annual health checkup

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