Tuesday, October 24, 2017
   
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Plantar Warts

Warts are a virus that affects the skin.  Warts can occur anywhere on the foot. When on the bottom of the foot, the wart is called a plantar wart. They can occur at any age, but most common in children and young adults. Their presentation can vary from being thicken skin that is shiny and encapsulated single or multiple lesions to thick yellowed lesions. The plantar warts often have a callus associated with it.  They are typically painful, especially with direct touch to the area or squeezing the area together.  When the skin is scraped, there is usually bleeding.  The skin lines or foot print is not visible in the skin affected by the wart.

Warts are transferred by contact. They can appear at sites of trauma/irritation. This can be from walking barefoot in common areas such as around the pool, gym or high traffic floors.  The slightest trauma or small opening in your skin will allow the wart virus to enter. Although they can be self limiting. They can become irritated, painful and treatment can be performed.

There are different treatments that are available.  These include applying medications to the area. There are over the counter medications that contain an acid to “eat away the wart lesion”.  Recently, medications to freeze the wart have become available in the local stores.  Although you may be tempted to use a treatment available at the store, it is best to have the feet evaluated by a podiatrist to ensure that the condition is a wart.  A podiatrist will be able to remove the thicken tissue in the office which will allow the medication to penetrate the wart and improve the treatment outcome.

In my office, I treat every patient as an individual and I will utilize various treatments that can be applied directly to the skin in the office and at home.  Surgically removing the wart either by cutting it out or using a laser can produce a scar which can be painful.  Therefore, a conservative method to remove the warts in the least amount of time, that is also less painful for the patient, is used in my office.  If one treatment is not working as well for one patient, then changes can be made to the medications to aide in resolving the lesions.

Medications and freezing of the warts can produce reactions that are typically local. These can include redness, swelling, blisters or a local infection.  If this occurs, it is addressed so that treatment can be continued.

It is important to remember to keep the feet covered and avoid touching the warts.  The virus can spread, thus one needs to wash their hands thoroughly. Additionally, cleaners can be used to help decrease the chance that the virus is spread to other members of the family.