Plantar warts are not considered to be serious, as they are noncancerous growths. Warts are caused due to certain type of the human papillomavirus (HPV), which is mostly present in damp and moist places. It can enter the body from tiny cuts or breaks on the skin of the feet. The skin under the feet is called plantar, hence these warts are known as plantar warts.
Symptoms and Causes
Plantar warts look like small, grainy bumps on the soles; they are hard and flat growths and have a rough surface. These growths will have a well-defined border, and sometimes inside the bumps you can see brown or gray-colored dots, which are clotted blood vessels. Toe warts can be extremely painful even while walking.
There are over 200 types of the human papillomaviruses, among which some cause plantar warts. Viruses which affect the soles of the feet are not highly contagious, but are present in damp and moist areas. Such areas include shower floors, changing rooms near swimming pools, locker rooms, etc. The virus can enter the body when walking barefoot in such areas.
HPV infection can pass from person to person, or from one body area to the other. Hence, one should avoid scratching or touching the HPV-affected body area. Another fact about wart infection is that it generally affects people with low immune systems, and hence when people with a strong immune system come in contact with HPV might not display any symptoms.
How to Remove Warts?
The treatment is aimed at treating the symptoms and can't completely remove the HPV infection, which is why there is always a possibility of the recurrence of these warts.
Cryotherapy: This plantar wart removal treatment is one of the most effective treatments. However, more than one session of treatment might be required. In cryotherapy the doctor will spray liquid nitrogen on the affected area to freeze out and remove the warts.
Topical Application: A prescription cream medication imiquimod is used which helps to get rid of warts by releasing immune system proteins. Imiquimod is approved from FDA and can be directly applied on the warts.
Cantharidin: This is one of the natural remedies for plantar warts, where a substance is extracted from the blister beetle and applied on the warts. This extract is usually combined with salicylic acid, applied to the warts and covered with a bandage. It is a painless application and after a week's time the doctor will clip off the dead parts of the warts.
Laser Surgery: This treatment is painful and expensive, and multiple sessions of exposure to a laser might be required to burn out the warts. However, this treatment is very effective to remove stubborn warts.
Surgical Removal: In this treatment the doctor will remove the wart by using an electric needle; this treatment is very effective, but this wart removal method might leave a scar if not performed properly.
If you or anybody in your family is having any symptoms of wart on toes, or other regions of the soles of the feet, then contact your family doctor or a dermatologist. Also, if somebody in your family visits public areas like swimming pools, then keep checking the skin under their feet for any symptoms of plantar warts.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.