Have you noticed a strange growth on the bottom of your feet that tends to hurt when you walk on it? If so, you may have a plantar wart. This is one of the most common types of warts out there, and it is easily spread from human to human. If you suspect that you have a plantar wart, there is no need to worry. They are not cancerous, and they can be removed easily. Read on for some basic information about this viral infection and some easy steps for how to remove plantar warts.
Plantar warts are a viral infection that affects the top layer of the skin, usually on the bottoms and sides of the feet, but also sometimes appearing on the toes. They start off looking like a small black hole in the foot, and gradually grow bigger and turn brown. At their worst, they are a large, hard, cauliflower-shaped growth that can be quite painful when they are walked on. The pain stems from the fact that the warts grow inward and are pushed into the skin when pressure is applied to them.
The human papilloma virus, otherwise known as HPV, causes these types of warts. This virus is spread from direct contact with other people and affected areas. The virus festers in warm, damp environments like bathrooms, locker rooms and pool areas. If you have cuts or scratches on your feet and walk barefoot in an infected area, the virus can easily enter through the break in the skin. Sharing shoes with an infected person can also facilitate the spread of the virus as can direct skin contact with the wart.
There are many different forms of plantar warts treatment. The following are some common ways to remove these warts:
This the most common way to get rid of a plantar wart. It comes in the form of drops, pads, gels or plasters and can be easily acquired at a drug store without a prescription. The salicylic acid is applied every day, sometimes two times a day for up to 4 weeks. It works by breaking down the cells in the virus. You can also use a pumice stone to slough off the dead skin after the treatment.
Cryotherapy is a treatment that a doctor can administer that freezes the wart off. It involves using liquid nitrogen or nitrous oxide to freeze away the wart quickly. This method can be a bit painful, but it is very fast and effective.
Laser surgery is another form of plantar warts treatment. This involves using a rapid pulse laser to heat up the blood vessels in the wart so that it eventually falls of. Although effective, this treatment can be expensive and painful.
Duct tape is a cheap but slow method to remove a plantar wart. Basically, you cover up the wart with duct tape and leave the tape on for 6 days. After 6 days you can remove the tape and slough off the dead skin. This could take anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks to fully remove the wart.
The best way to prevent getting a plantar wart is to keep the feet clean and dry, and wear protective footwear when walking in communal damp areas. If you have cuts and abrasions on your feet, you should avoid walking barefoot in locker rooms, bathrooms, and pool decks. Moreover, if you know someone who has a plantar wart, do not share shoes with that person or touch the wart directly. If you do get a plantar wart, cover the wart up with a bandage to prevent spreading it to other people. Also, if you suspect you have this type if wart, try to get plantar warts treatment as soon as possible so the warts do not spread to other areas of the feet.
Plantar warts are not dangerous in that they will not cause illness or fatality. That being said, they can be painful, irritating, and unsightly. Fortunately, there are many ways to remove plantar warts, including salicylic acid, cryotherapy, laser surgery and even duct tape. With a few simple precautions you can avoid getting these types of warts. But if you do happen to get one, simply seek out treatment from a drug store or a doctor to remove the offending growth.