A wart is a growth in and on the skin. It can show up as a single fleshy growth that looks similar to a corn, or have a larger, flatter appearance like a callus. Dr. Kraft will examine the area affected to diagnose what type of wart is present. Warts that are located on the bottom (sole) of the foot are called plantar warts. Plantar warts have a flat, hard surface that feels and looks rough, and are typically brown or gray, although they have a range of colors. Plantar warts also have pinpoint-sized dotted areas of black in the center. A non-plantar type of wart appears as a flesh-colored, raised area and grows on the toes or top of the foot. Warts can become painful if not treated.
Warts are caused by viruses. Wart viruses thrive in warm, moist environments and can live on hard surfaces such as the tile floors of a shower, damp towels, and wet bathmats. Warts are contagious, so they can spread from person to person or from one body part to another. A wart virus enters the body through a break in the skin from a cut or scratch, or any type of injury that opens the skin. Injuries to the bottom or top of the feet can occur from shaving, hangnails, pedicures or from walking barefoot on rough cement, rocks, or debris-riddled sand at the beach. Once the skin is broken, it’s vulnerable to numerous germs that can cause infections, including wart viruses.
Topical treatments for warts include liquid nitrogen applications, laser treatments, or prescription medications such as salicylic acid. Once Dr. Kraft diagnoses the type of wart you have, she will determine which treatment to use and the length of treatment needed. Ways to avoid catching warts are to change socks and shoes often, keep the feet and toes clean and dry, and don’t walk barefoot, especially when in public places. It’s important for anyone with warts to see a podiatrist for prompt care to prevent a worsening of the wart infection. For patients with compromised immune function or circulatory problems, it’s essential to seek professional podiatric care for the treatment of warts to prevent medical complications. Dr. Kraft is highly trained in the treatment of all patients, including those with compromised immune systems.
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