Plantar Warts

What causes them, how do we get them, and what can we do to treat them?

A plantar wart is a wart that occurs on the bottom of the foot.

Plantar warts are caused by a virus, like all other warts. They are very common and also are very contagious. Generally, being in close contact with bare feet spreads this virus. For example: a public shower at a swimming pool, or a school locker room. You should not share clothing or linen with someone who has a plantar wart. Plantar warts may spread on the body and seed other areas. Certain individuals seem to be entirely immune to the viruses that cause plantar warts, while others may on the other hand develop a large number of warts. Plantar warts, unlike other warts, usually cause pain because they are forced by pressure into the foot.

No treatment known can be relied on, but yet a vast number are used. So how do we treat warts? There are a number of topical products which your pharmacist can help you find to treat plantar warts. Most of them contain salicylic acid which causes the infected skin of the wart to peel off. It is important that you follow the directions on the package so you don’t damage the surrounding skin. Other types of treatments can be provided by a doctor. They may use liquid nitrogen to freeze warts off, or lasers to vaporize them. Sometimes a new plantar wart will form while existing ones are being destroyed. Recurrence is very common in all cases of plantar warts. Sometimes the warts seem to vanish rapidly and permanently for no apparent reason.