Foot Warts

What Are Warts?

Warts are small bumps of thickened skin that often appear dome-shaped, rough, and grainy. You may notice a visible, dark-colored “pinpoint” of clotted blood vessel in the center of the wart.

They are caused by certain strands of the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can enter the skin through tiny cuts and weak spots. The viruses that cause foot warts tend to congregate in warm and moist environments like locker rooms, playgrounds, pools, or even sweaty shoes. Exposed contact between your skin and infected surfaces may result in the development of warts.

Warts that appear on the feet—particular under the sole—are known as plantar warts. Because of their position in weight-bearing locations, plantar warts can cause pain and discomfort when standing or walking.

Do I Need Treatment for My Foot Warts?

This is a personal choice that you have to make. Warts usually do not pose any major risk to your health and may even go away on their own in time (although it may take years).

However, we almost always recommend treatment for foot warts sooner rather than later. There are many very good reasons to deal with them:

  • Warts can multiply and spread from one part of the body to another through contact. One wart under your foot today could turn into multiple warts on both feet and hands.
  • Warts are mildly contagious, and there is a chance they could spread to other members of the same household through indirect contact—for example, through shared bathroom and shower facilities, towels, linens, etc.
  • Foot warts in particular can be painful when standing, if they are located in a sensitive or weight-bearing location.
  • Warts are unsightly and can be very embarrassing and hurt one’s sense of self-confidence or esteem.

Any of the above are good reasons to get your warts treated.

What Is the Best Treatment for Plantar Warts?

Home care kits and remedies for warts, unfortunately, are not usually recommended. They often do not work, and some methods (such as salicylic acid) can be harmful to healthy skin if not applied properly.

If you or your child are frustrated with foot warts, come see us at Waukesha Foot Specialists. We can offer further treatment options, such as:

  • Prescription medications and topical creams, such as retinoid cream, imiquimod, and cantharidin.
  • Cryotherapy, which involves freezing the wart with a super-cold substance.
  • Laser therapy to eliminate the virus behind the wart and boost immunity.
  • Surgical excision, which may or may not involve the use of lasers.

It may take multiple appointments to fully eradicate a particularly stubborn wart. There is usually a trade-off with varying wart-removal procedures – less invasive options may require more treatment sessions. We will be sure to discuss all your option with you in detail to determine the best way forward.

To schedule an appointment with the Waukesha Foot Specialists today, please call (262) 544-0700.

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