Plantar warts sound pretty gruesome, but they’re a fairly common foot ailment that affect about 3 million people per year. They are not considered a serious health concern, although they do cause uncomfortable irritation and pain.
How People Get Plantar Warts
The name “plantar” derives from the anatomical location of the wart, which is the sole of the foot. This type of wart manifests in small growths. Plantar warts are pushed into the skin through the pressure induced by walking or standing, making them even more aggravating.
Plantar warts are caused by an infection known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). This type of viral infection invades the outer skin on the sole of the foot through minor cuts and abrasions. If an individual is infected, the warts may not appear for weeks or months.
This type of foot infection is contagious, and could be picked up in high traffic areas such as:
• Public pools
• Communal bathrooms
• Locker rooms
• Public showers or saunas
• Athletic facilities where people workout barefoot (martial arts or yoga studios)
Who Could Get Plantar Warts?
Plantar warts are caused by a virus, so those with higher immune systems are less likely to get infected. Plantar warts are more commonly found on children, whose immune systems are still developing. However, adults with lowered immune systems are also susceptible to plantar warts. Individuals who have contracted plantar warts before could also get them again.
How to Treat Plantar Warts
Plantar warts could cause pain and discomfort for those that have them. There are many ways to go about treating the infection, but some methods are more effective than others.
Home Remedies for Plantar Warts
Plantar warts vary in severity, but home remedies may be worth trying to reduce the size or pain of plantar warts.
Apple cider vinegar is one option, and it is recommended that a soaked cotton ball should be applied to the affected area twice daily.
Tea tree oil is an antiseptic that has many beneficial uses. To try this method, dilute the tea tree oil with olive, coconut, or almond oil and apply to the plantar warts twice daily.
Another home remedy to try would be twice daily applications of iodine to the infected area.
Home remedies may take several weeks or months to show results, if they work at all. If these treatments don’t show improvement, seek medical advice from a podiatrist.
Over the Counter Treatments
There are many over the counter treatments to combat or minimize plantar warts.
Foot pads are applied like bandages to the infected area after soaking in warm water and dried. The adhesive pads are then replaced every 24 or 48 hours.
Liquid wart remover is another over the counter treatment to try. After soaking the plantar warts in warm water, dry the area and apply drops of wart remover once or twice daily.
It is also possible to use a freezing kit to treat plantar warts. These kits can be acquired in most drugstores and could be used on multiple warts.
Over the counter treatments could typically treat plantar warts in about 12 weeks.
When to Visit Great Neck Podiatry
The most effective and safe way to deal with plantar warts is by scheduling an appointment with a podiatrist. Foot specialists are able to prescribe in office treatment, clinical strength medication, and medical advice.
To schedule an appointment at Great Neck Podiatry, you can call our office directly at (516) 829-1028 for our Great Neck location or (718) 601-2100 for our Bronx location. You can also fill out an online appointment request form on our website.