Warts. The word alone can conjure up images of children’s fairy tales and witches with a big wart at the end of her nose. For most of us, the first knee jerk reaction about having a wart is to feel embarrassed.
For the most part, warts are a minor inconvenience, and certainly not a serious medical problem. While many people think they can just use an over-the-counter product, that’s not the best plan. If you get a plantar wart (foot wart), you really need to see a doctor for treatment.
Jarna Rathod-Bhatt, DPM, Rahul Bhatt, DPM, and the podiatry team here at Apple Podiatry Group offer their thoughts on why you shouldn’t ignore foot warts.
Plantar warts explained
A good place to start this conversation is to dispel some myths about the origins of warts and who gets them. First of all, warts are not rare. In fact, they are a common malady worldwide, affecting about 10% of all people.
Most foot warts are noncancerous lesions that grow on the sole or plantar aspect, and are caused by one of the 100 or so strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Since they’re viral in origin, it should come as no surprise that warts occur more commonly among school-aged children – about 10-20% get foot warts.
Walking barefoot in public places that are damp and warm, like areas around saunas, gyms, or pool decks, provide the perfect storm of conditions for foot warts. A simple weak spot on your foot, like a small cut, provides an invitation for the HPV virus to enter the skin.
Foot warts can hang around a long time
You’re probably thinking that a plantar wart seems simple, so why should you have a doctor treat it? Although foot warts can go away on their own, depending on the strain of the HPV that caused the wart, some pesky warts can last 18 months or so. Over-the-counter products take the one-size-fits-all approach and can fall short of a 100% cure rate.
Coming in to get treatment from one of our podiatrists expedites the process of getting rid of your uncomfortable and embarrassing foot wart. We have a number of ways to treat plantar warts right in the office to give you relief.
Plantar warts can change the way you walk
Plantar warts can be painful. Allowing a foot wart to linger untreated means continued discomfort and pain with every step you take. Because foot warts form on the sole of the foot, it’s natural to compensate for the pain by walking differently to reduce your discomfort. Another tendency is to reduce activities or exercises that aggravate the pain.
Foot warts can spread
Another downside to ignoring foot warts is that while you’re trying to tackle the issue on your own, they can continue to spread, which causes even more pain and makes walking even more difficult.
Instead of trying to manage plantar warts at home, come in to see Dr. Bhatt or Dr. Rathod-Bhatt and be done with your foot warts. Call one of our offices in Arlington and Irving, Texas, or book your consultation online.