Plantar Warts

What is a plantar wart?

A plantar wart is a benign, rough skin growth caused by a viral infection, the human papillomavirus, or HPV. Despite its harmlessness, plantar wart can be contagious.

What are the symptoms of plantar warts?

Although they can be confused with seed corns, the symptoms of plantar warts have their own characteristics:

  • Appearance of one or more small, rough, well-defined skin growths, usually on the hands, back, toes, sole of the foot, face, knees or elbows;
  • The growth is made up of spongy, yellowish or brownish tissue;
  • Presence of small black dots in the growth which are small blood vessels formed because of the rapid growth of the wart;
  • The spot may be itchy;
  • Sometimes pain 

What are the types of plantar warts?

There are several types of plantar warts:

  • Flat warts which usually appear on the face, backs of hands, and wrists;
  • Myrmecia are present on the sole of the foot, with black dots. This is the most common form of plantar warts. It forms a horn ring and causes pain when walking;
  • Mosaic warts are found under the feet and are rarely painful;
  • Digitized warts present on the scalp;
  • Filiform warts often appear in children, on the eyelid and around the mouth.

There are also genital warts or condylomata which can cause serious health problems in women, including the risk of cervical cancer.

In all cases, plantar warts require medical treatment.

What are the causes of plantar warts?

Since this is a contagious virus, it is important to be aware of the causes of plantar warts. Contamination can occur:

  • through repeated direct contact with an infected person.
  • by repeated indirect contact with infected objects (shoes, clothes, tablet, etc.).
  • by self-infection: by scratching warts, an infected person can infect other parts of their body.

However, there are factors that can accelerate contagion such as:

  • wet floors in swimming pools, beaches, public showers, etc. ;
  • the presence of small cracks or wounds on the skin;
  • the presence of autoimmune diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis;
  • the presence of a humid environment: sweaty feet, excessive sweating.

Exposure to the virus does not immediately cause warts to appear. The incubation period is relatively long.

What are the treatments for plantar warts?

A- Medical treatments

The podiatrist can use various treatments for plantar warts:

  • Cryotherapy, which consists of burning the lesion by the local application of nitrogen;
  • The carbon dioxide laser (CO2), it allows the destruction of warts thanks to a laser beam. This is the most effective treatment.
  • Bleormycin sulfate by intradermal injections.

B- Home treatments

There are many plantar warts treatments available on the market such as salicylic acid and monochloroacetic acid.

In order to avoid any complications due to plantar warts, we strongly advise against following any treatment at home before having consulted a dermatologist or a podiatrist who will establish the correct diagnosis of your medical condition and will then advise you on the best treatment for you. to be continued.

How to prevent plantar warts?

In order to avoid plantar warts, a certain hygiene of life is necessary:

  • Avoid walking barefoot in public places, especially in humid environments such as bathrooms, showers, around swimming pools, etc.
  • If exposed in public places, wash feet thoroughly with soap.
  • People who sweat a lot should keep their feet dry at all times and change their socks regularly.
  • Ventilate the feet when possible.
  • Wear cotton socks.

What to do not to infect others?

Simple actions can prevent the transmission of the virus:

  • Avoid handling warts;
  • Do not cut the warts or pull them out;
  • Do not burn your warts;
  • Wash your hands well every time you touch your warts;
  • Never use adhesive bandages on your warts.
  • Do not share your personal belongings with others (towels, socks, caps, shoes, etc.);
  • Do not walk barefoot in gyms, under showers, etc.
  • Keep your feet dry.

Make an appointment

Plantar warts require consultation with a podiatrist or a dermatologist. PodatreMD , a network of podiatry clinics in downtown Montreal, on Rue Jean-Talon (corner Lucerne), Laval, West Island, Gatineau and Ottawa, is here to serve you.