Plantar Warts

A Podiatrist treating a wart

Plantar warts, caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), can be a painful and bothersome condition that affects the soles of the feet.

A podiatrist applying padding to offload and treat a wart

Frequently Asked Questions

These two conditions can look quite similar, making an accurate diagnosis crucial.

A corn develops from skin thickening due to pressure or friction. It typically appears as a raised, yellowish patch with possibly flaky skin around it. Walking can be uncomfortable, but there’s usually no pain when doing the “squeeze test.”

Warts, on the other hand, may have yellow, hard skin on top, but they tend to look more flesh-coloured with dark spots in the centre. They often hurt both while walking and during the “squeeze test.”

There’s a reason why some people get recurrent plantar warts. Once you contract the virus, it becomes a lifelong companion, even when there are no visible signs of a wart.

This ongoing viral presence means that there’s always a possibility of warts resurfacing in the same area.

Plantar warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which is contagious. The virus tends to thrive in warm, damp settings and is often contracted from shared spaces like public showers and swimming pools, gaining access to your body through cuts or skin abrasions.

If you ignore a plantar wart, it can get bigger and spread to other parts of your body or to people you’re in contact with. It’s not just about preventing the virus from spreading; it’s also about your own health. Untreated plantar warts can become painful and affect the way you stand, walk, and run. In some cases, this discomfort might cause problems with your muscles and joints. So, it’s a good idea to deal with them sooner rather than later.

At Momentum Podiatry, we understand the discomfort and inconvenience that plantar warts can cause, and we’re here to help. Our experienced team of podiatrists offers comprehensive and effective treatment options to rid you of these unwelcome growths, so you can walk comfortably and confidently once again.

What are plantar warts?

Plantar warts are small, fleshy growths that often develop on weight-bearing areas of the feet. They are a viral infection caused by HPV. Warts can cause pain, discomfort and a feeling of walking on a pebble or small stone.

Plantar warts aren’t usually a health risk, but they can spread easily and cause pain. Our Podiatrist can come up with a treatment plan that is suited to you. 

How are plantar warts treated?

When you come in for an appointment with us, we’ll address the following things:

  • Your diagnosis (plantar warts are sometimes misdiagnosed as a corn – heloma durum).
  • We’ll discuss a treatment plan and talk about how to minimise the chance of spreading the virus to other parts of your body or other people.
  • We’ll offer multiple painless treatments and at-home remedies.
  • We’ll talk about natural remedies that may help to treat sweaty feet (an environment in which plantar warts like to grow).
  • Suggest alternate treatments where necessary, such seeking a referral to a naturopath

What are the risk factors?

HPV is a slow-growing virus that spreads through direct or indirect contact. You can contract it directly from someone with the virus (like skin-to-skin contact) or indirectly by sharing items like floor surfaces, shoes or socks with an infected person. However, not everyone exposed to the virus will develop warts, as individual immune responses to different viral strains vary.

The virus flourishes in warm, moist environments, making public showers and pools common sources of infection. It can enter your body through cuts or breaks in the skin.

This virus specifically targets the skin on the soles of your feet, causing the top layer of skin to grow rapidly, resulting in a raised, fleshy lesion.

Plantar warts can affect anyone, but several factors can increase your risk, including:

  • Age: Children and teenagers are more susceptible due to increased exposure in places like school pools, and their immune systems are still developing.
  • Weakened Immune System: A compromised immune system can make you more vulnerable.
  • Walking Barefoot: Especially in areas where the virus thrives, such as locker rooms and showers.
  • Foot Injuries or Infections: Cuts, injuries, or skin infections on your feet can serve as entry points for the virus.
  • Direct Contact: Having direct contact with someone who has warts increases the risk of transmission.

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