Plantar warts are lesions which occur on the soles of the feet. They are most common among children and young adults and can be painful.
Warts can occur anywhere on the foot and may involve multiple lesions of varying sizes.
How do plantar warts occur?
- Warts are skin lesions caused by a viral infection called the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV).
- The wart virus usually likes to thrive in warm, moist environments and can be picked up in public showers, swimming centres and walking barefoot over infected areas.
- Plantar warts tend to be very contagious so family members with warts should take care to prevent spread of the infection.
How do I know if I may have a plantar wart?
Symptoms may include:
- An areas of thick, raised skin on the bottom of the foot
- Pain when squeezed or with direct pressure
- Tiny black dots
How do you treat plantar warts?
- Regular debridement and application of a chemical agent.
- Boosting the immune system with supplements such as; magnesium, zinc, vitamin C, thuja and echinacea
- Over the counter medicaments can be beneficial in- between treatments e.g. Wart-Off, Duofilm.
- Foot hygiene: avoid walking barefoot or in wet areas with thongs, change socks daily, keep feet dry and clean. Disinfect or sanitise thongs and liners inside shoes.
- Reduce sweating on feet, such as anti-perspirant spray, powders in shoes and methylated spirits on skin.
- Cryotherapy: freezing (if on a non-weight bearing area of the foot)
- Cimetidine (Tagamet): In some cases, GP’s will prescribe this in high doses.
- Surgical excision under local anaesthetic is a last resort.
If you think you may have a plantar wart, see your podiatrist as soon as possible for a thorough assessment and individualised treatment plan.