What you need to know about Plantar Warts
to the old wise tales warts are not contracted from contact with
a toad. Warts are contracted from the HPV virus. Humans become infected
with the virus through breaks or cracks in the skin. The HPV virus
flourishes in warm moist environments like public locker rooms,
showers, or swimming pools. Plantar warts can spread to other areas
of the foot and increase in size or number. This results in clusters
of bumps or nodules.
Plantar warts are typically non-cancerous skin growths or virus
on the soles of feet caused by the human papillomavirus virus (HPV).
Plantar warts typically enter the body via tiny cuts, liasions,
cracks or breaks in the skin. Plantar warts frequently develop on
the soles of the feet at pressure points like the heels or balls
of the feet.
Wart Rx: 15 Second Plantar Wart Relief Guaranteed
Generally, plantar warts do not represent a serious health concern.
Plantar warts may be irritating or painful and can be resistant
to treatment. See a physician if warts are painful or irritating
or do not respond to home remedies.
Plantar Warts: Symptoms
Plantar warts can be mistaken for corns or calluses. To determine
what type of warts are present look for small flesh colored bumps
on the soles of the feet. Plantar warts are typically hard flat
growths with well-defined boundaries and a rough surface. The brownish
growths should have one or more black points or dots housed in the
wart that represent blood vessels. These tiny black dots are not
wart seeds. Small plantar warts can be diagnosed as bumps that segment
normal contours or lines in the skin on the foot.
Symptoms of Plantar Warts Signal a Need for Treatment
Causes and Risks with Plantar Warts
Plantar Warts: Causes
You acquire warts through direct contact with the human papillomavirus
(HPV). There are more than 100 types of HPV. Some types of HPV tend
to cause warts on your hands, fingers or near your fingernails.
Others tend to cause warts on the feet.
Compared to other types of HPV virus, plantar warts are not highly
contagious. However, plantar warts live well \in warm moist environments,
like shower floors, locker rooms or public swimming pools. The virus
can be contracted in public areas by walking barefoot where the
virus is present.
Similar to other infectious diseases, HPV may be passed from person
to person. As plantar warts exist on the bottom of feet, the virus
can spread other places on the foot by touching or scratching. The
virus may also spread by contact with skin shed or blood from a
As individual immune systems respond differently to HPV virus not
everyone who comes in contact with HPV develops warts. Other family
members, although exposed, may respond to the virus differently.
This is one reason why entire families do not necessarily contract
warts or spread them through shared clothing, towels, or showers.
Common Causes of Plantar Warts
Plantar Warts: Risks
Populations that contract plantar warts may experience the following
1. HPV virus exposure multiple times.
2. Cracked, chapped, or damaged skin tissue on the feet.
3. Weak or stressed auto immune system.
Medical science does not completely understand the risk factors
associated with contracting warts. Certain individuals are more
susceptible to warts when exposed to the HPV virus just as some
people are more likely to catch colds. Statistically, children and
teenagers are more vulnerable to warts.
How to Reduce Risk of Contracting Plantar Warts
Plantar Warts: Medical Attention
Always seek medical advice if warts are excessively painful or change
in appearance or color. See a physician if warts recur, persist,
or multiply following home treatment or if warts interfere with
daily activities. Individuals with diabetes or circulatory disorders
should not attempt home treatment. Consult your physician if you
are in doubt or concern.
If concerned over a correct diagnosis, consult your physician for
a correct diagnosis. In addition to plantar warts, It is possible
for more serious lesions to appear on feet. These growths are classified
as cancerous tumors called carcinomas and melanomas. If in doubt
over the proper identification and diagnosis of lumps or lesions
consult a physician.
Plantar Warts: Diagnosis
Usually, physicians can visually diagnose plantar warts. However,
in some cases, plantar warts can be confused with corns or calluses.
Generally, a clear diagnosis can be achieved by determining if a
“blood” supply exists to the lump or bump. This requires
a physician to cut a small amount of tissue away to determine if
a blood supply to the suspect wart is present. Corns and calluses
do not have a blood supply and will not bleed. Plantar warts will
show signs of bleeding from small pinpoint blood vessels.
If in doubt over a diagnosis, the physician can take a sample of
the affected foot tissue and send it out for a laboratory analysis.
Singling Out Symptoms of Plantar Warts
Plantar Warts: Complications
Plantar warts can be tough to eliminate. They regularly shed active
virus cells on to the skin of the foot causing new warts to grow
before they can always be removed. In some cases, new warts appear
as fast as old ones disappear. The best course of action is to treat
new warts quickly so they do not have time to spread.
Plantar warts, if untreated, can grow to an inch or more in size
and can spread causing clusters of warts called & mosaic warts.
Plantar warts may also become very painful. If painful groups of
plantar warts develop it may be difficult to walk or run.
Plantar Warts: Treatment
Plantar warts may eventually disappear without treatment. However,
if warts are painful they should be treated. There are home based
natural and OTC (Over-the-Counter) treatments. Physicians use a
variety of methods to treat warts. They include Cryotherapy, Salicylic
Acid or Cantharidin. Following treatments, physicians will give
instructions for self-care. Salicylic acid patches are applied daily
with instruction to remove dead tissue with a nail file or pumice
stone between treatments. It may take several weeks for the wart
to completely disappear.
If OTC, home based remedies, or topical treatments are ineffective,
your physician may recommend an office visit to remove it. The physician
may use liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart and kill it. This avoids
scarring or damaging surrounding tissues but may only kill the top
portion of the wart. Following the initial treatment, if the wart
reappears, the nitrogen freezing treatment must be repeated until
the entire wart is completely killed. An alternate therapy requires
the physician to cut out the wart. This surgical procedure requires
topical anesthesia and may result in surrounding tissue scaring
Plantar Warts: Treatments
Physicians may recommend any one of the following treatments or
a combination of treatments:
Medicinal Remedies: Natural wart treatments and remedies.
There are a number of natural topical treatments for plantar warts.
However, many the natural products are not effective as advertised.
One of best natural topical wart treatments is Wart Rx available
at medicinalremedies.com. Avoid natural home-based treatments or
remedies that are not backed by research and testing.
Treating Children with Plantar Warts
Conventional Plantar Wart Treatments
Salicylic acid: Acid based wart
medications and patches available OTC at drugstores. In order for
plantar warts to be effective treated by salicylic acid a solution
of 40 percent or greater is required. Common OTC salicylic acid
solution or patch products include Curad Mediplast, Dr. Scholl's
Clear Away Plantar, and other brands. Acid based treatments cause
the skin to peel a small amount at a time. Acid solutions need to
be applied regularly as much as once or twice each day. Care should
be given not to contact acids with healthy skin, as it can become
irritated from the acid. Between applications remove dead skin and
wart tissue with a pumice stone or emery board. As acid treatments
are slow, the process will need to be repeated for three or four
weeks to completely kill plantar warts.
Use of Salicylic Acid in Treating Plantar Warts
Treating Plantar Warts with Salicylic Acid
Freezing (cryotherapy): Freezing is considered
one of the more effective treatments for most common treatments
for plantar warts. Freezing warts kills both good and infected skin
tissue from very cold temperatures. As a result, this form of treatment
is not relatively painless and fast. Although considered very effective,
multiple treatments may be required to kill persistent warts as
freezing warts typically only kills the top of the wart. This may
result in multiple trips to the doctor’s office every two
to four weeks. Physicians can apply liquid nitrogen by spray or
cotton-tipped applicator. Blistering will result around the wart
and dead tissue will begin to peel in 1 to 2 weeks. Cryotherapy
may now be done at home. Liquid Nitrogen is now available OTC in
pressure charged canisters at drug stores.
Cantharidin: Cantharidan is a caustic chemical
substance extracted from the blister beetle. Both doctors and natural
healers have used Cantharidin to treat warts for centuries. This
therapy is can be combined with salicylic acid to increase treatment
effectiveness. Physicians paint Cantharidan on the wart and cover
it with a dressing. This treatment is painless and allows physicians
to gradually trim dead tissue away from blistered areas. However,
like the Salicylic acid treatment, the application process may require
multiple treatments to kill underlying tissue. Some physicians may
be reluctant to use Cantharidin as it has not been approved by the
Plantar Warts: Medical Treatments
Resistant warts that do not respond well common treatments may require
more aggressive treatment options:
Minor surgery: Minor surgery typically consists of cutting
or removing the wart surgically. This requires use of either a scalpel
or electric needle called electrodesiccation. The electric needle
destroys the wart by burning or carderizing the wart. Both surgical
techniques require topical anesthesia and risk scaring. Both procedures
are considered painful.
Plantar Wart Treatments Could be Dangerous
Removing Plantar Warts with Minor Surgery
Laser surgery: Physicians may also use
lasers to eliminate tough warts. However, laser surgery
is painful, expensive, and may take longer to heal than other less
Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy harnesses
the body's natural auto immune system to fight and kill tough-to-treat
warts. Physicians use several immunotherapy treatments for planter
warts. Physicians may elect to inject the wart with interferon medication
to boost the auto immune system's instinct to fight warts or the
doctor may inject your warts with a foreign antigen substance that
stimulates the auto immune system. Physicians often use mump antigens
as many people are immunized against mumps. This causes the mumps
antigen to set off an auto immune reaction that fight off warts.
Imiquimod (Aldara): Imiquidmod is a prescription
immunotherapy medication that stimulates the body to release immune
system proteins called cytokines to fight off warts. This medication
may be applied directly on warts. Imiquimod is FDA approved for
the treatment of genital and perianal warts. However, it is also
effective in treating common warts and plantar warts.
Other medications: In severe plantar wart cases
the doctor may elect to inject each wart with a medication called
bleomycin that kills the virus. This medication is administered
systemically in high doses. Individual wart injections can be painful
and may cause rashes or itching. Bleomycin has not been approved
by the FDA and is not intended for use if pregnant, breast-feeding
or if circulation problems exist.
Duct tape: Researchers published
a study in 2002 that found duct tape killed more warts than cryotherapy
freezing. Study members who used duct tape therapy covered their
warts with duct tape for six days, then soaked their warts in water
and rubbed the warts with an emery board or pumice stone. This process
was repeated for two months or until their warts went away. Researchers
believe that duck tape therapy may work by irritating warts and
the surrounding skin tissue causing the body's immune system to
kick in and kill warts. Duct tape is growing in popularity and is
commonly used to treat warts, particularly in children who are sensitive
to painful therapies.
Plantar Warts: Prevention
To prevent and lower the risk of contracting plantar warts:
1. Avoid coming in direct contact with warts on yourself and others.
2. Change socks regularly, keep shoes and feet dry and clean.
3. Avoid going bear-foot in public areas. Wear shoes or sandals
in public pools and locker rooms.
4. Do not scratch or pick at warts as this can spread the virus.