Have you seen a small, grainy growth on the bottom of your foot or the foot of your child? This spot can be painful when standing on it.
You may have a plantar wart. These growths appear on the heel or ball of the foot and, because these parts of the feet receive a lot of pressure, the warts grow inward. Sometimes they are covered by a callus that appears on the surface of the skin.
Plantar warts are caused by a virus that gains access to the body through a cut on the bottom of the foot or through a weak area of skin. This virus is contagious and can be picked up by being barefoot in places like public pools, locker rooms and showers. Those with weakened immune systems are prone to getting this virus as are teenagers and children.
Treating Plantar Warts
Sometimes plantar warts go away by themselves, although it may take some time – even a year or two. There are home remedies and non-prescription treatments available but these are usually not effective and the wart will return.
If you have a painful plantar wart that does not go away, contact Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM for assistance. Our treatments include:
- Prescription salicylic acid treatments that gradually peel away the wart.
- Freezing the wart or cryotherapy where liquid nitrogen is applied directly to the growth. We will numb the area first so you should not feel any pain. Within a couple of weeks, the dead tissue will come off. More than one treatment may be necessary.
- Laser treatment that closes off the blood vessels, causing the wart to die.
- Removing the wart surgically.
Sometimes a combination of treatments works best, such as freezing the wart and then following up with salicylic acid applications.
Take Precautions to Avoid Plantar Warts
- Keep feet protected in public areas like locker rooms and pools with flip flops or sandals.
- Make sure that your feet are clean and dry and change shoes and socks daily.
- Avoid spreading the virus by not touching your own warts.
- If you have warts, keep foot instruments separate from those used on healthy skin and nails. Use a disposable emery board.
Visit Us To Eliminate Plantar Warts
Don’t rely on over-the-counter products that usually allow plantar warts to recur. Come see Dr. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist for a thorough foot examination and effective treatment. You can reach our Chicago office at 773-561-8100 or request an appointment via the website. You need expert help to permanently rid your feet of painful plantar warts – call us today.