What is a plantar wart?
A plantar wart, also known as a verruca, is a wart that occurs on the bottom of the foot or in-between the toes.
Plantar warts are caused by a virus known as HPV. The virus enters your body through tiny cuts, breaks or other weak spots on the bottom of your feet.
How will I know if I have a plantar wart?
You will notice:
Why did I get it?
- A relatively small, fleshy, rough, grainy growth or 'spot' on the bottom of your foot. There can be just one or many, as warts tend to mulitply.
- Warts are generally more painful to pinch than to press.
- They will have small black specks on their surface. These are the wart's blood vessels.
Warts are known as an 'opportunist infection', which means they target those who do not have a full strength immune system.
Therefore, the at risk population are:
- Pregnant ladies
- People who are immunocompromised or on immunosuppressant medication.
You are more likely to contract a wart if you walk barefoot in a common-area such as; swimming pools, locker rooms or shared showers.
How do you test for a plantar wart?
Your podiatrist will normally be able to diagnose a wart by assessing it and by asking you specific questions. If in doubt, they will ask you to have ultrasound which rules out other conditions, such as corns or foreign bodies.
How do you treat it?
The podiatrist will remove the dead skin that lays on top of the wart, then apply a treatment to damage the wart.
By damaging the wart we are reducing it's size but also creating an immune response, saying to the body, 'Hey! There is something here that needs your attention.'
There are many different treatments that can be applied, but your podiatrist will decide which will will work best for you at your appointment.
How can I prevent getting a wart?
Like all conditions, prevention is the best form of treatment. Making sure you are wearing thongs in common areas will act as a barrier between your foot and a potential plantar wart.