Warts are one of several soft tissue conditions of the foot that can be quite painful. They are caused by a virus, which generally invades the skin through small or invisible cuts and abrasions. They can appear anywhere on the skin, but technically only those on the sole are properly called plantar warts.
Children, especially teenagers, tend to be more susceptible to warts than adults; some people seem to be immune.
Source of the Virus
The plantar wart is often contracted by walking barefoot on dirty surfaces or littered ground where the virus is lurking. The causative virus thrives in warm, moist environments, making infection a common occurrence in communal bathing facilities.
If left untreated, warts can grow to an inch or more in circumference and can spread into clusters of several warts which are often called mosaic warts. Like any other infectious lesion, plantar warts are spread by touching, scratching, or even by contact with skin shed from another wart. The wart may also bleed, which is another route for their spreading.
Occasionally, warts can spontaneously disappear after a short time, and just as frequently, they can recur in the same location.
When plantar warts develop on the weight-bearing areas of the foot, the heel or ball of the foot, they can be the source of sharp, burning pain. Pain occurs when weight is brought to bear directly on the wart, although pressure on the side of a wart can create equally intense pain.
Tips for Prevention
- Avoid walking barefoot, except on sandy beaches.
- Change shoes and socks daily.
- Keep feet clean and dry.
- Check children’s feet periodically.
- Avoid direct contact with warts, either from other persons or from other parts of the body.
- Do not ignore growths on or changes in your skin.
- Visit your podiatric physician as part of your annual health checkup.
We can rid you of warts with a few treatments in the office. Don’t live with these painful unsightly skin lesions anymore.