Warts are a common problem that affects millions of people every year. While most of them are harmless, they can be quite painful, and the viral infection responsible for it can have an impact on your daily life. In this article, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment options available for warts.
What Causes Warts?
Warts are caused by a viral infection that invades the skin through small or invisible cuts and abrasions. The most common types of warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). When the virus infects the skin, it triggers the rapid growth of cells on the outer layer of the skin, resulting in the growth of a wart. Foot warts, in particular, are usually contracted by walking barefoot on dirty surfaces or littered ground.
Symptoms of Warts
Warts are generally raised and fleshy and can appear anywhere on the foot or toes. They may be mistaken for corns or calluses, which are layers of dead skin that build up to protect an area that is being continuously irritated. However, warts tend to have a rough surface and well-defined boundaries. They are often gray or brown, but the color may vary, with a center that appears as one or more pinpoints of black. Furthermore, plantar warts, which appear on the soles of the feet, tend to be hard and flat.
When left untreated, warts can grow to an inch or more in circumference and can spread into clusters. They tend to be more prevalent in children and teenagers than adults. If you notice any warts, it is recommended that you check your children’s feet periodically.
Over-the-counter foot wart treatments are usually ineffective because their use can inadvertently destroy surrounding healthy tissue. Therefore, it is recommended that you see a professional if you suspect that you have a wart. Like any other infectious lesion, warts are spread by touching, scratching, or even contact with skin shed from another wart. The wart may even bleed, another route for spreading.
Our practice, led by Dr Gilbert Huang DPM, is an expert in recommending the best treatment for each patient, ranging from prescription ointments or medications to, in the most severe cases, laser cautery. Dr Huang, who is a Board-Certified Podiatrist, offers a complete range of podiatric services and is dedicated to diagnosing, treating, and resolving your foot problems. Therefore, if you have a wart or any other foot problem, we encourage you to visit our clinic.
Preventing the Spread of Warts
Preventing the spread of warts is essential to keep yourself and those around you safe. Here are tips to follow:
– Avoid direct contact with warts, both from other persons or from other parts of the body.
– Avoid walking barefoot, except on sandy beaches.
– Change your shoes and socks daily.
– Keep your feet clean and dry.
Warts may be a common problem, but they can be quite frustrating, and in some cases, painful. The viral infection responsible for warts can also have an impact on your daily life. Our clinic, led by Dr Gilbert Huang, is an expert in recommending the best treatment for each patient, ranging from prescription ointments or medications to, in the most severe cases, laser cautery. Therefore, if you notice any warts on your feet, we encourage you to visit us and receive professional care that’ll help you regain your comfort and wellness.