What Are Plantar Warts?

What are plantar warts?

Plantar warts are more commonly known as verrucas. The plantar warts are localised thickenings of the skin; they are found on the soles of the feet and can vary greatly in size. Depending on where the planter warts appears on the foot the wart can become very painful even causing discomfort when walking.

What causes plantar warts?

The virus which causes the non-cancerous skin growth or verrucas is called the ‘human papilloma virus’ or HPV. There are different strains of the HPV virus which cause different types of warts varying from common warts, genital warts and the plantar wart. In the case of the plantar wart the virus causes the skin on the foot to grow and thicken, combined with the weight of the individual causing pressure on the wart results in the plantar wart growing inwards.

The virus is contagious but not as contagious as many people think, some people seem to be more prone than others and can even carry the virus without ever developing any warts at all. The virus will enter the through cracks or breakages to the top layer of skin and cause the skin to rapidly grow resulting in the planter warts. It is common place to catch the virus which causes plantar warts at public swimming pools, communal showers and locker rooms. If you are prone to outbreaks of warts you should wear some pool shoes to protect your feet and shower flip flops to protect your feet in and around shower areas.  

If you are suffering from plantar warts you should be aware and take precautions not to spread the virus on to other people.  Never share shoes or socks with other people and keep the planter wart covered with a plaster.  If you do go swimming or use communal showers you should keep the wart covered to eliminate spreading the virus.

What do plantar warts look like?

The warts can vary in size from just a few millimetres up to a centimetre.  If you look closely you will often see tiny black dots which are actually blocked blood vessels.  It is very common for a sufferer to have more than one wart and these are sometimes referred to as a mosaic.

What are the symptoms of plantar warts?

The symptoms vary depending on where the wart is located, if it is on a load bearing area of the foot is likely to feel tender as you walk often feeling like standing on a small stone.  Some people can live with a planter wart with very little discomfort at all.  
Can plantar warts be cured?

Yes, of course but what wart remedy suits one individual is not necessarily going to be as effective in the next. The virus which causes the plantar warts however cannot be cured once a person is infected with HPV there is no known cure, however the symptoms i.e. the wart can be cured.  There are a wide range of products on the market to remove the plantar wart at home but you should always seek advice from your doctor. If the wart isn’t bothering you it will eventually go away, though it can in some cases take several years

Some of the more unusual wart removal include things like apple cider vinegar, duct tape therapy and tea tree applications.  Your doctor may also suggest therapies such as cryotherapy – freezing the wart or simply surgery to cut the wart out.  These treatments can be painful and sometimes living with the wart can seem like a better alternative or even trying some homeopathy or home remedy alternatives may be the answer to treating your plantar warts.

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