Plantar warts (also known as verucca/verrucaes) are benign skin lesions that are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). They are the same as the warts that you can get on the other areas of your body, except these ones are on your feet. They can present as a single lesion or in clusters. Warts are quite contagious and can be picked up from communal swimming pools, bathrooms and any other communal areas where there is adequate moisture and warmth.
When you look at a wart closely it has a ‘cauliflower-like’ appearance. They are often mistaken for corns, however, they differ from corns as the skin striae (lines) are interrupted by the verrucae (that is – skin lines go around the lesion) and they sometimes have little black spots within them. This is sometimes hard to see as they normally develop an overlying skin callous, which needs to be debrided first.
Plantar warts may or may not be painful. It is typical of a wart to hurt when squeezed with sideways pressure whereas corns are painful with direct pressure. It is important not to “pick” at warts as this can make them worse and allow spreading of the virus that may cause more warts on other areas of the body.
The Podiatrists at Jandakot Podiatry can diagnose and treat warts/verrucas. There are multiple treatment modalities available which your Podiatrist can discuss with you. These include freezing, acid application, needling of the lesion, padding and offloading the wart and simple removal of the hard skin overlying the wart. These lesions can be quite stubborn to cure and may require multiple or repeated treatments.
If you would like to know more about wart treatment, please give us a call.