In today’s world, where we are always in a rush, it is very easy to catch a virus, especially a plantar wart. Let’s learn all about Plantar warts, how we get them, and what measures we can take to prevent them.
What are Plantar Warts
Plantar warts are small growths that appear on the soles of the feet. They are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and can be contagious. Their size ranges from a tiny pea-size to larger than a quarter. Plantar warts can develop singly or sometimes in a cluster (mosaic warts).
The Different Types of Plantar Warts
Plantar warts come in various forms; some of these are:
- Common Wart
- Flat Warts
- Mosaic Warts
- Periungual Warts
- Filiform Warts
Causes of Plantar Warts
Plantar warts are caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). There are different ways of getting them, such as:
Plantar warts are prevalent, and one of the most common causes of getting them is by walking barefoot in public areas like gyms, pools, and showers.
Direct contact with an infected person
You can get infected by touching a person’s wart or by using an object coming in direct contact with the wart (shared shoes, towels, etc.). The virus thrives in warm and moist environments, and the risk of getting Plantar Warts is higher for people with weakened immune systems, children, and adolescents.
Cutting your nails too low
When you cut your nails too deep or when you bite your nails, the virus can easily get in through the cut-site and may infect you. That’s why it is important to keep your nails trimmed, clean, and healthy.
Plantar Warts Symptoms
The appearance of plantar warts ranges from a small round lesion on the skin to a larger sized patch of skin with small blackened capillaries where the wart has grown deeper into the skin. Some of the symptoms are:
Small Black Dots
The infected area in plantar warts can have tiny black dots that indicate the clotting of blood vessels that have outgrown the wart.
Discomfort while walking
If you have a plantar wart, you may feel pain or discomfort while walking or putting pressure on the foot.
Bumps or Lesions
Plantar warts may cause bumps or lesions on the skin of the bottom of the foot. These may be raised or flat and have a rough surface that might be slightly scaly or peeled.
How to Prevent Plantar Warts
It is said that “Prevention is better than cure,” and that is true! Some of the measures that you can take to prevent Plantar Warts are:
Keep your feet clean and dry
Keeping your feet clean and dry can help you avoid getting Plantar Warts. Wear well cleaned and dried socks and shoes as often as possible.
Don’t walk barefoot in public areas
Avoid walking barefoot in public areas like gyms, swimming pools, and showers. Wearing flip-flops or shower shoes while using such communal rooms is always a good idea.
Avoid touching other people’s warts
The Human Papillomavirus (HPV) can be contagious, so avoid touching other people’s infected area or shared objects with previous contact with an infected person.
Don’t share personal things that may touch a wart
Avoid sharing personal objects such as towels, shoes, socks, and even nail clippers, which may help HPV to be transmitted from person to person.
How to Treat Plantar Warts
Plantar warts can go away on their own, but some people may need treatment. Some of the common treatments are:
Topical Salicylic Acid
This is the most common treatment for Plantar Warts. It softens and peels off the dead skin, while some acids destroy the tissue of the wart.
Freezing plantar warts using liquid nitrogen creates a blister around it, which ensures the wart will continue to die.
The use of lasers to destroy plantar warts has proven to be effective. It is used for warts that have become persistent and have not been affected by any other type of treatment.
When other treatments fail, surgical excision of the plantar wart is the next viable option. Removing a plantar wart surgically should be left to specialists.
In conclusion, Plantar Warts are a very common occurrence caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). They are contagious and can be transmitted through direct contact. Walking barefoot in public areas and having weak immunity make people more susceptible to contracting plantar warts.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a plantar wart?
- What are the Causes of Plantar Warts?
- How can I prevent Plantar Warts?
- What are the symptoms of Plantar Warts?
- How can Plantar Warts be treated?
Answer: What is a plantar wart?
Plantar warts are small growths that appear on the soles of the feet. They are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Their size ranges from a tiny pea-size to larger than a quarter. Plantar warts can develop singly or sometimes in a cluster (mosaic warts).
Answer: What are the Causes of Plantar Warts?
Plantar warts are caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), which is contagious. Walking barefoot in public areas such as gyms, swimming pools, and showers or coming into direct contact with an infected person can be the root cause of Plantar Warts.
Answer: How can I prevent Plantar Warts?
Keeping your feet clean and dry, wearing shoes and flip-flops in public areas, avoiding sharing personal items that may transmit the virus, and keeping your nails trimmed can prevent plantar warts from developing.
Answer: What are the symptoms of Plantar Warts?
The appearance of plantar warts ranges from a small round lesion on the skin to a larger-sized patch of skin with small blackened capillaries where the wart has grown deeper into the skin. Some of the symptoms include small black dots, discomfort while walking, bumps or lesions, and a rough surface that might be slightly scaly or peeled.
Answer: How can Plantar Warts be treated?
Plantar warts can go away on their own, but if they persist or become painful, various treatments such as topical salicylic acid, cryotherapy, laser treatment, or surgical excision are used.
1. American Academy of Dermatology Association. (2018, February 2). Plantar Warts. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/contagious-skin-diseases/plantar-warts.
2. Roberts, D. T. (2002). A dictionary of biomedical science. Oxford University Press.
3. Rossi, S., Di Nuzzo, S., & Cantisani, M. (2019). Plantar warts. In Dermatology in Public Health Environments (pp. 327-328). Springer, Cham.