When Do Plantar Warts Require a Visit to the Podiatrist?

When was the last time you looked at your feet? Chances are it’s been awhile. It’s easy to forget what your feet look like after years of stuffing them in shoes. So when you do finally notice that you’ve developed warts, it can be quite disconcerting.

Our team of experts at Optima Foot and Ankle want you to be completely informed about plantar warts, so you know exactly when you should see a podiatrist.

What are plantar warts?

Many confuse plantar warts with corns and calluses. Corns and calluses are layers of dead skin your feet develop to protect against irritation. Unlike corns and calluses, plantar warts are the result of a viral infection, and they typically have a rough surface with a well-defined boundary. Though usually on the soles, they can also develop on the tops of your feet, usually as raised bumps with a fleshy appearance. Warts on the bottoms of your feet are forced to grow inward, so they’re typically flat.

Some of the other common signs of plantar warts are:

  • Gray or brownish appearance
  • Tiny, black pinpoints in the center
  • A callous over the well-defined “spot”
  • Pain or tenderness when bearing weight

You might also notice that your warts fuse together and create clusters, which are known as mosaic warts. It’s important to note that because these warts are caused by a virus, they’re contagious and can spread from person to person.

When do you need a podiatrist?

In many cases, plantar warts go away on their own, but it can take months or years for this to happen. We always encourage you to seek medical attention if you notice any new warts on your feet.

Some symptoms and conditions that warrant a visit to the podiatrist include:

  • Warts that bleed or change appearance
  • Persistent, recurring, or multiple warts
  • Diabetes, nerve damage, or poor sensitivity in your feet
  • A weakened immune system

You should also schedule an appointment with our team if the growth limits your activities or if you’re unsure if it’s a wart.

How can we treat your plantar warts?

We base our recommendation on the severity of your symptoms and the extent of your condition, as well as on your health history. Common treatments for plantar warts include:

  • Topical medications
  • Laser therapy
  • Cryotherapy, or freezing
  • Shaving the wart and applying a special acid
  • Minor surgery

Sometimes, we may recommend immunotherapy. With this approach, we use oral or topical medications to activate your immune system to fight the viral infection. We strongly recommend that you avoid using over-the-counter treatments, as these medications are often harsh and can aggravate your warts.

If you’d like more information, or if you’re concerned about a new wart, don’t hesitate to call us at 541-383-3668, or request an appointment online.

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