What are they?
Plantar Warts, also known as verrucas, can affect both adults and children. These types of warts are caused by some strains of human papilloma viruses (HPV) that enter the skin through cuts or scrapes on the bottom of the feet. Since they survive in warm, moist environments, walking barefoot on dirty surfaces, pools, or in communal shower areas can make you susceptible to contracting the virus.
What are the Symptoms?
While most warts are harmless, they may be unsightly. For others, they can cause irritation and even pain with every step taken. If you contract the virus, you may notice the following:
- Generally characterized with hardened or thickened skin, with distinct boundaries – can be confused with a corn or callus
- Can be white, gray, or brown
- Can be flat or slightly bumpy (if there are multiple warts growing in one area) with one or more black dots in the center
- Can give pain if they grow on weight-bearing areas like the heel or ball of the foot
- Can reappear as the virus lives in the body
What are Home Treatment Options?
For some, verrucas can appear with no pain, and then resolve on their own. For others, they can be painful and persist, even with treatment. Some over-the-counter options include:
- File down the wart with an emery board, then soak in warm water for at least 5 minutes. Follow this with one of the following treatments:
- Salicylic Acid in the form of creams or gels, which burns off the top layer of skin
- Cold spray applications that freeze the warts
- For painful warts, use soft padding in shoes while treating the wart
What are Preventative Measures to take?
- Always wear flip flops in communal showers
- Do not share shoes, socks, or towels
- Do not touch other people’s warts – wash your feet and hands if you touch your own or someone else’s warts
- Wash and completely dry your feet each day. Wear new socks every day and change midday if you need to
- If you have plantar warts, do not go barefoot in areas where you may spread the virus to others – cover the warts with waterproof sealant when swimming and use a bandage when walking barefoot.
If the above treatments do not work, you may need other treatments such as cryotherapy or even surgery. Our board-certified podiatrist, Carl Ingrassia, DPM at Fords Foot and Ankle Care will assess your needs and provide the proper treatment. Give us a call at (732) 738-4441 to make an appointment at our office in Fords, NJ within Woodbridge Township, NJ. We are happy serve all patients in the surrounding areas of Edison, Perth Amboy, Metuchen, Rahway, and Linden.