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Why Do I Have Plantar Warts?

The official name of plantar warts is verrucae warts — they’re warts that appear on the bottom of your feet. They most often affect your heel but may also be on your forefoot; the parts of your feet that hold your weight most are the most likely places for plantar warts to appear.

Dr. Svetlana Malinsky has effectively treated many cases of plantar warts, even those that seemed unmanageable to patients. In this post, we explain what plantar warts are, how you can avoid them, and what you should do if you have these persistent, contagious warts.

Cause of plantar warts

Plantar warts are caused by specific strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) — types 1, 2, 4, 60, and 63 are those that most commonly cause warts on your feet. HPV thrives in warm, damp places, like locker room floors and puddles on the tiles around swimming pools. 

If you walk barefoot in places like that, you risk getting plantar warts. If you have microscopic cuts or tears in the skin of your feet, you’re even more likely to get warts because those cuts and tears give the virus easy entry into your skin. 

Should you worry about plantar warts? 

Some people have plantar warts and never know it. They can go away on their own in time. For others, the warts are painful. Wherever you fall on that scale, there are treatments to help you get rid of them. 

If you notice a tender area on your foot when you’re walking, you may be feeling early symptoms of a plantar wart. As the wart continues to develop, you may notice a flat circle on your skin, with a depression in the middle. Over time, the wart might look yellow, develop a crust, or form a black spot in the middle. 

Treatment for plantar warts

There are plenty of over-the-counter treatments for plantar warts, and many of them take time but work well. Creams that contain salicylic acid are often effective, and they’re available in most drugstores. Even some alternative treatments may work for plantar warts, such as placing peeled garlic or garlic oil on the wart.

However, if your wart is painful enough to disrupt your normal routine, if at-home remedies don’t work, or if your wart continues to return or spreads following home treatment, it’s time to seek professional care. Dr. Malinsky has several effective treatment options at her disposal. 

In some cases, she may recommend using liquid nitrogen to remove the wart — essentially freezing it off with cryotherapy. Cutting the wart out, or curettage, may be the right treatment for you. Medication and laser therapy are other approaches that she may use to get rid of a plantar wart. Treatment is based on the severity of your growth.

Plantar warts are usually not dangerous, even though they can be painful and difficult to get rid of. But just because they aren’t a threat to your health doesn’t mean you have to live with them — especially if they’re painful or keep coming back. 

Schedule your appointment with Dr. Malinsky today to learn more about plantar warts and, more importantly, start treatment to get rid of them for good! 

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