Plantar warts are virus-induced and grow on the feet. Anybody can get them, but those most susceptible include children, teenagers, and people who have a weakened immune system. Read on for information about the causes and symptoms of plantar warts.
Plantar warts are caused by a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in the outer layer of skin on the sole of the foot. Although there are more than 100 types of HPV, there are only a few that can cause warts on the feet. Every person’s immune system responds differently to the virus, so not everyone who comes into contact with the warts develops them. Plantar warts aren’t easily transmitted through direct contact from one person to another, because the HPV strains that cause them aren’t very contagious. The virus thrives in warm, moist environments, such as public locker rooms, swimming areas, and shower floors. A person can contract the virus by walking barefoot around these types of places. To infect, the virus must have a point of entry into the skin. This can be in the form of cuts, scrapes, cracks in dry skin, or skin that is fragile and softened from prolonged water exposure.
Plantar warts form as fleshy, small, grainy lesions on the soles of the feet. These lesions interrupt the normal ridges and lines found in skin. A callus might form over the spot on the skin where the wart has formed and grown inward. Plantar warts can also create black pinpoints on the skin, which are clotted blood vessels. A person who has developed plantar warts will feel tenderness when standing or walking, causing their normal posture or gait to be affected. These differences in standing and walking can lead to muscle and joint discomfort.
When to See a Doctor
A person should seek medical assistance if their lesions change in appearance, become painful, or interfere with daily activities. If warts persist or spread despite home treatment, a doctor can closely monitor a treatment plan. It is important to seek treatment to avoid further damage to the foot and surrounding muscles and joints.
The medical team at Family Foot Center treats a variety of ailments, including plantar warts, heel pain, ingrown toenails, hammertoes, and bunions. If you are in need of podiatric attention, visit our website or call (347) 625-5256 to schedule a consultation.