Why Do I Have Warts on My Feet and How Can I Get Rid of Them?

Why Do I Have Warts on My Feet and How Can I Get Rid of Them?

Warts are caused by a virus that insidiously enters your skin through tiny cuts or holes in your skin. If you ever walk on a pool deck, use a locker room shower, or even go barefoot in a hotel room, you’re at risk of contracting the human papillomavirus strain that causes plantar warts. 

These warts are generally harmless but can be ugly and sometimes painful to walk on. If you want them gone (and who doesn’t), see Kerry Berg, DPM of Intermountain Foot & Ankle Associates in Colorado Spring, Colorado. She can expertly and efficiently remove your plantar warts (foot warts) right in the office and get you back on your feet again.

Warts are caused by a virus

Plantar warts show up as small, fleshy, rough, grainy growths on the bottom of your feet. They may have a black pinpoint — small, clotted blood vessels. 

You got these warts by stepping bare-footed onto a surface that had been contaminated by the human papillomavirus (HPV). It’s a common virus that lurks in public areas and sticks to surfaces like public showers, gym floors and equipment, playgrounds, and doorknobs. 

You only need a tiny cut in your skin to allow HPV to dive in and get to work. It gets into your outer layer of skin and quickly multiplies. That rapid cell growth turns into a wart or cluster of warts. 

Warts are more common in some people

Not everyone gets warts, even though the HPV virus is everywhere. Whether you get infected depends on the strength of your immune system and its ability to resist HPV. If you have compromised or underdeveloped immunity, you’re more likely to get warts. This explains why children get more warts than adults.

Genetics plays a role as well. If you have a family history of warts, you’re more likely to get them yourself. 

Plantar warts are different than other warts

You may think of warts as raised bumps that sit on your skin. Plantar warts, on the other hand (or foot), tend to grow inward because of the pressure placed on them when you walk. Rather than a round bump like you might get on your hand, a plantar wart appears flatter and more spread out, much like a common callus.

Black dots inside your plantar wart are another special feature. You might mistake a plantar wart for a callus, but if you see black dots in the middle of that fleshy growth, you’ve got a plantar wart. Those dots are little blood vessels inside the wart.

What to do to get rid of plantar warts

Plantar warts aren’t usually serious but can be cosmetically unappealing and physically uncomfortable. Here’s what Dr. Berg recommends when it comes to getting rid of these growths: 

Give it a little time

Plantar warts generally go away on their own. The problem is that it could take a year or two before it finally fades. So if you’re willing to wait and avoid treatment, you can let nature take its course.

However, you do run the risk of allowing your warts to spread. Your existing warts can multiply by infecting other places on your body withlittle abrasions. 

At-home options

Many people successfully get rid of warts on their own. The process takes several treatments over weeks or months and may not remove your warts completely. 

You can try using duct tape – place it over your wart all day and night for six full days. Repeat until the wart is gone. Over-the-counter ointments and gels that contain salicylic acid can encourage the wart to peel away. Over-the-counter freeze sprays can also kill the wart tissue. 

If you have diabetes or a foot condition, don’t try to treat plantar warts on your own. 

Podiatrist interventions

When at-home remedies fail to rid you of your plantar warts, it’s best to seek professional treatment. Depending on the size and location of your plantar warts, Dr. Berg may recommend:

If you’re tired of plantar warts and are ready to have smooth, wart-free skin, contact Intermountain Foot & Ankle for help. Call today or use the online tool to schedule your appointment.

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