Plantar Warts, also known as verrucas, are a viral infection that is easily contracted through direct contact or by sharing contaminated surfaces. Pools, communal showers, and locker room areas are prime areas for infection. They appear as bumps on the bottom of the feet, some flat, and some are clusters of bumps. They are generally white, gray, or brown, with one or more black dots. The skin can become hardened or thick, and for some they can cause pain when bearing weight.
Because plantar warts are caused by viruses, they can live in the body and continue to reappear. While some plantar warts are painless and resolve on their own, others can suffer from pain, or at the very least, unsightliness. Here are some home treatment options:
- Use an emery board (like nail file board) to file down the wart to remove the hardened skin. Soak the feet in warm water for 5-15 minutes to soften the skin. You can then use a treatment such as salicylic acid cream or gel. This will burn off the top layer of skin. Another treatment option is a cold spray application that freezes the wart, eventually making it burn off.
- If warts are painful, use soft pads to cushion them in your shoes.
- Do not walk around barefoot in communal areas such as pools and communal showers.
- Do not share shoes, socks, or towels, especially if you know that you or the other person has warts.
- Wash and completely dry your feet each day. This will reduce the chance of developing warts. Also, treat any cuts or scrapes on the bottom of the feet so that they are not open to contamination from viral infection when you are barefoot.
- If you have plantar warts, take care to cover the warts so that you do not infect others. Use a waterproof sealant when swimming and use a bandage when walking barefoot.
For persistent plantar warts that cause you discomfort, you may need other treatments such as cryotherapy or even surgery in the doctor’s office. Make an appointment with us at The Podiatry Group. Our podiatrists, Dr. Mark E. Reiner, Dr. Michael A. Haughey, Dr. William G. Coates, and Dr. Erik D. Rosenlof can perform a thorough assessment at our Jonesboro, AR office to treat your plantar warts and keep your feet healthy.