Some people may believe that avoiding warts is as easy as avoiding frogs. However, this is simply a myth. The truth is, warts have nothing to do with frogs at all! They are a skin condition caused by a virus, meaning anyone can get them, with or without a frog’s help. Get the scoop on plantar warts with help from your Bloomington, IL podiatrist at McLean County Foot and Ankle.
What is a wart?
A wart is a small skin growth caused by one of over 60 types of HPV, or Human Papilloma, virus coming into contact with and entering the skin. A wart forms because of the skin cells replicating too quickly, forming the growth. There are several types of warts, depending on the way they grow and the location of the body they grow on. The virus usually gets into the skin via a tiny cut or crack in the skin.
What is a plantar wart?
Plantar warts occur on the bottom of the foot. Due to the location, the pressure from standing and walking may cause the wart to grow inward. When this happens, a callus appears on the outside of the skin over the wart. If the wart does not grow inward, it usually presents itself as a brown or flesh colored bump with a flaky top. Additionally, it may have small, black spots on it. Many patients describe a plantar wart as feeling like they have a rock in their shoe.
How can my Bloomington podiatrist help?
You should see your doctor if the wart becomes painful, changes color, does not respond to at-home treatments or you have a weakened immune system due to immune system disorders or HIV/AIDS. At your appointment, your doctor examines the growth and might take a biopsy for analysis. While many plantar warts heal on their own, there are treatments for more stubborn cases. An acid peel removes the outer layers of skin, thus removing the wart layer by layer. Freezing essentially kills the wart and causes it to fall off after a period of time. Laser treatment and, in severe cases, minor surgery may also be used to treat warts. Your doctor can help you determine which treatment is best for your situation.
For more information on warts, please contact Dr. Gerald W. Paul at McLean County Foot and Ankle in Bloomington, IL. Call (309) 662-9001 to schedule your appointment today!