Warts: An Overview

Warts are essentially skin infections by HPV (human papillomavirus), an extremely common viral infection. These warts cultivate on the sole of the foot or at the plantar surface. They tend to produce symptoms in friction and pressure areas. Virus that creates warts, HPV, infects just the surface of the skin, causing a thick growth that can get extremely tender if located in the pressure prone areas.

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The many causes and risks of plantar warts:

The HPV virus gets access to the skin by direct contact. It is assumed by the doctors that the skin’s inoculation occurs in areas that are likely to be polluted by others who have plantar warts such as, communal showers. After being infected by HPV, instant resolution depends on the growth of immune lymphocytes which helps to destroy the cells that are virus-infected.

Plantar warts can be seen in almost all age groups. However, they are very common among twelve to sixteen year olds.

Some of the risk factors include:

1.     Using public showers,
2.     Declining immune system due to the use of certain medications,
3.     Skin trauma, and the like.

What are the signs and symptoms of planter warts?

1.     Pain in the foot which is localized to a specific area of the sole
2.     Firm, rough and spongy lesions with small pinpoint dark spots within the wart’s body. These spots are thrombosis, minute capillaries within the deeper skin layers.
3.     Smooth skin surface with a brown or gray-yellow color.
4.     Normally on bony points or areas of pressure and flat due to pressure.

When is it important to seek treatment for Plantar Warts?

It is important to call a doctor if home therapy does not work.

Calluses and corns that look like warts normally develop extremely gradually over years. It is always a good idea to consult a physician if you are unable to distinguish a callus or corn from a plantar wart.

Most of such growths are not hazardous, but there are some that may cause problems. You must seek medical attention when,

1.     You or your children suffer from warts and wish to get them removed;
2.     Severe redness, pain, swelling, large big lesions develop;
3.     Warts do not completely disappear even after treatment; or
4.     Other similar warts emerge after treatment.

While planter warts can rarely be called an emergency; however, the problems of aggressive therapy can be severe pain, bleeding, inability to walk, swelling, redness, formation of boil or abscess, streaking, which all may point to an emergency.

Since warts normally diminish on their own and usually leave without scars, treatment should be conservative, with extreme approaches reserved only if everything else fails. It is also best to see a reputed podiatrist for treatment.


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