What Are Plantar Warts?
Imagine a pebble in your shoe just under the weight-bearing ball or heel of your foot. Then imagine that no matter how many times you try to shake the pebble out of your shoe it’s still there. Congratulations, may have got a plantar wart.
All warts are caused by viruses; the good news is that, while they can be painful, plantar warts are also common and very treatable. Your first step should be to make sure that the hard spot on the bottom of your foot is indeed a plantar wart and not simply a callus. You can generally tell just by looking—a plantar wart is typically round and, unlike a callus, has a rough granular texture and will have a cluster of telltale small black dots (actually tiny blood vessels) near the center.
Often you can shrink a plantar wart with over-the-counter treatments. (IMPORTANT! If you have diabetes, a weakened immune system or circulatory issues leave the plantar wart to your podiatrist—self-treatment could lead to more serious problems.) Drugstore treatments use a solution of salicylic acid to remove the wart layer by layer, a process that can months or not work at all.
If you’ve looked at the painful spot on your foot and can’t be sure that it’s a plantar wart or if self-care doesn’t work, make an appointment with your foot doctor—and certainly call the doctor immediately if the wart changes color or if it begins to bleed. The doctor may use more aggressive treatment modalities.
The podiatrists at the Triad Foot & Ankle Center’s three locations are knowledgeable in treating plantar warts. Call 336-375-6990 to schedule your appointment or visit our website www.triadfoot.com to request an appointment.
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