Warts

Plantar warts are non-cancerous growths that occur on the soles of the feet when Human Papillomavirus (HPV) enters the body through cuts on the skin. There are a number of strains of the HPV virus, and those that cause plantar warts are not the same as those that cause genital warts. Although plantar warts are not dangerous, they can be extremely painful, and at times tough to treat.

Plantar warts are spread from person to person, and the transmission can be indirect. This usually occurs in warm and wet areas, such as showers, swimming pools, and hot tubs. It is very easily transmittable, and can be caught by walking barefoot in communal places. Once acquired, the virus forms a wart, which is essentially a buildup of skin that appears as the body’s immune system starts fighting.

A plantar wart looks similar to a callus. It is a small, grainy bump that sometimes has blood vessels in it, which appear as dark dots. Even though it’s not a serious condition, it can be painful and very unattractive, making people uncomfortable and self-conscious.

Treatments include medications such as Cantharone, or salicylic acid, freezing the wart with liquid nitrogen, removing it with laser or surgery, and applying or injecting medications that strengthen the patient’s immunity. Some plantar warts disappear on their own, as the body’s immune system fights them off. But, occasionally, even if the treatment is successful, the plantar wart may reappear.

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