I have a Foot Wart...What should I do?
As a podiatrist, I see lots of people with plantar warts on their feet. Often my clients have been trying lots of at-home treatments with not much success.
This leaves them feeling distressed with lots of questions -
- How did I get it?
- Is it because of my hygiene?
- Will it ever go away?
Let's answer some of those questions for you!
What is a wart?
Plantar warts (Verrucae Pedis) are non-cancerous growths that can be anywhere on the feet but tend to be in higher pressure areas.
How do I know that I have a wart?
There are several types of warts that all look a little different, however, the best way to describe a wart is as a grainy, bumpy lump on the foot with irregular edges that can have a ‘cauliflower-esque’ appearance, often with little black dots in the wart.
These can be painful with a squeeze or to stand on if in high weight-bearing areas.
How do I get a wart?
Warts are a skin infection caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
This virus is very easily spread from one person to the next and is an opportunistic virus meaning it tends to infect those who have a break in their skin or have lowered immunity.
You can often become infected with the virus and not know about it until the wart becomes painful or spreads.
Will my family members catch the wart?
HPV is spread by direct or indirect contact with the virus.
Direct contact with the wart or with shoes and socks someone with a wart has worn may lead to further spreading. The virus loves to live in warm, damp areas, so places like the bathroom, communal change rooms and around swimming pools are areas where you may pick up the virus indirectly.
How can I prevent my warts from spreading?
All warts are contagious.
Ensure you cover your wart with a waterproof bandage when swimming.
Be cautious in shared bathroom/change room facilities and either clean the surfaces with a disinfectant following use, wear thongs or cover the wart with a waterproof bandage when using.
Keeping your skin in healthy condition can help to prevent your wart from spreading to other parts of your foot.
Applying emollient to your feet daily, treating any cuts/wounds with betadine and covering with a dressing, and wearing appropriately fitting shoes will help to keep your skin strong and healthy.
Should I treat a wart?
I often get people asking me whether they should have their wart treated as it isn’t causing them any problems. Without treatment, the wart can get bigger and become painful, and subsequently can become more difficult to treat.
And, of course, they can spread if you don’t treat them. So yes, you should have your wart treated!
What treatment options are available?
There are many ways to treat warts including over the counter ointments, freezing the wart, and having your Grandpa buy it from you for 20cents.
The best available evidence in the medical literature reports that simple topical treatments containing salicylic acid applied every 2 weeks have excellent cure rates. This treatment is provided by a podiatrist and is a simple procedure to carry out.
Another form of treatment we use at Complete Podiatry for plantar warts is a surgical procedure called needling. This involves using a local anaesthetic to numb the wart area, then a sterile needle is pushed into the wart to mechanically destroy it and to improve the body’s immune response to the wart.
This treatment can be useful if you have multiple warts, as only the largest needs to be treated to improve your body’s own immune response to all of the warts present.
Recent research has identified that there are a number of strains of the HPV virus that are resistant to treatment.
Your Podiatrist will keep a close eye on your progress and discuss this with you should they become concerned you have a resistant strain.
I'm so confident I can help you that I'd love to chat with you personally about your troublesome wart, it's what I'm passionate about!
Contact us on 8330 0004 or send us a message on our website.
Yours in helping build amazing lives from the feet up.
Podiatrist at Complete Podiatry