Plantars Warts

Plantars Warts can occur in just about anyone. And the majority of people have either had one or know someone who has had one. The warts or lesions can take on a wide variety of different appearances. They can also be mistaken for calluses or other types of skin lesions. They do however have distinct characteristics that make them easy for the Podiatrist to identify.

Patient’s with Plantars Warts often present with the lesion on the bottom of their foot that appears to be built up like a callus. The lesions can be in areas where calluses would normally form or anywhere else on the foot. The way to identify a plantars wart is for the Podiatrist to remove the top layers of dead skin exposing the center of the lesion. With removal of the skin, or debridement, wart tissue will display pinpoint bleeding. This is many small drops of blood in the center of the lesion. Another sign of a wart is pain with lateral compression, or squeezing from side to side.

A wart is an infection in the skin. However, in this case the infection is with a virus. Much like infections that involve bacteria (cellulitis), or fungus (athletes foot) the virus enters the skin and begins to fester. As it reproduces it causes a buildup of dead tissue. As the lesion builds it causes pain when the person puts pressure on it. The same viruses cause warts on other areas of the body. Usually people have those warts treated due to cosmetic purposes. In the case of Plantars Warts patients usually present because of pain during walking.

A frequently asked question is; “Where could I have caught this infection?” The truth is it is very difficult to tell. These viruses live in the dirt and many other places. In cases of fungus and bacteria avoiding certain situations like warm wet areas is recommended. In the cases of the viruses, they can live in most climates and areas. Walking with shoes on is a good way of preventing infections however the virus can also get into the shoes.

Treatment of the Plantars Warts depends on the severity of the lesions. In the majority of cases the patients are brought back for multiple treatments of debridement and freezing of the lesion. This is a benign procedure that does not require anesthesia and causes little to no discomfort. If the lesions are extremely large or they do not respond to the freezing treatments complete excision can be performed. During the complete excision the foot is anesthetized using local anesthetic in the lesion is completely removed from the foot. The surrounding tissues are then treated with antiviral to kill any remaining viral tissue. The procedures performed in the office and the patient is given instructions on how to care for the wound after the procedure.

If you notice the lesion on the bottom of your foot that has been increasing in size is recommended that you present to our office for evaluation. The treatment is much easier if the problem is not ignored.