All About Warts
Warts (aka Verruca) typically appear on hands and feet. They present as rough small tumors or cauliflower like or a solid blister. The virus that causes plantar warts is not highly contagious but can be transmitted through tiny cuts or breaks in skin. Since everyone has a different immune system, not every person who comes in contact with the virus will develop a wart. The virus is called the human papillomavirus of which there are 100 types.
Plantar warts have increased incidence in children and young adults between 12-16 years old who share common areas. Warts can be persistent and new warts can grow as fast as old warts disappear.They can be painful especially if they grow on weight bearing surfaces like the feet. Usually the portion of the wart under the skin is two times the size of the wart you see, it tends to grow into deeper layers of skin due to pressure.
You should seek medical advice if:
- - Your warts change in size or color
- - If they become painful
- - If they persist, recur or multiply in spite of home treatment
- - If you have diabetes, circulatory problems
- - If you cannot confidently identify the lesion.
Simple examination by a podiatrist can let you know if warts are present. The doctor may "pare" the lump (remove the hard outer skin) with a scalpel. Corns and calluses do not have a blood supply and should not bleed but warts have pinpoint bleeding when debrided.
Doctors usually use common treatments in combination such as;
Salicylic acid in a 40% concentration. The acid peels off the infected skin a little at a time. This can take time and healthy skin must be protected.
Freezing (cryotherapy) is the most common treatment and usually effective but also requires several applications. The chemical can cause a blister and the wart tissue sloughs off.
Aggressive forms of treatment include:
- - Electrodessication
- - Laser surgery
- - Immunotherapy
- - Imiquinod (Aldara)
None of these treatments should be used without a doctor's care if you are diabetic, pregnant, breast feeding or immunocompromised. Prevention is the key!
To decrease your risk:
- - Do not pick warts, that can spread the virus.
- - Do not go barefoot in public areas. Wear shoes or sandals at public pools or locker rooms.
- - Avoid contact with warts.
- - Keep your feet clean and dry.
If warts are becoming a problem in your life, feel free to call our office today! Our highly skilled team is ready to handle any and all plantar warts! (239) 936-2454