Plantar warts might not cause any symptoms and often disappear on their own, even without treatment. However, they can cause problems for some people, and you could be passing on the infection. Jason Cohen, DPM, and Sandeep Garcha, DPM, of Cohen & Garcha Podiatry, LLP, offer expert treatments for troublesome warts on your feet. The practice has six offices in New York City’s Bronx borough, one in Jamaica, Queens, and another in Nanuet, New York.
Warts you’re most likely to get on your feet are plantar warts or verrucas. These small warts look like calluses (hard patches of skin) with a black dot at their center. They most often develop on the soles of your feet.
While most warts aren’t painful, they can be uncomfortable if they’re on a sensitive part of your foot or somewhere that bears weight when you walk.
Warts can also affect the nerves in your feet, causing you to change the way you walk to avoid putting your weight on the warts. Changing how you walk can strain other parts of your body, including your ankles, knees, hips, and even your back, resulting in chronic pain.
Plantar warts develop when you’re infected with certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). Different strains of HPV are responsible for warts in other areas of the body.
HPV is a common infection. You can have it without knowing because your immune system wipes the infection out before you see any warts.
To avoid getting warts, you need to prevent HPV infection. Don’t touch your warts or anyone else’s, and always cover your feet if you’re in a public changing room or other areas where people often go barefoot.
Wash and dry your feet and change your socks and shoes daily. Try to keep your feet dry as far as possible to make it harder for the HPV virus to get into your skin.
Children are particularly likely to develop plantar warts. If you’re a parent, protect your child’s feet and check them regularly for signs of warts.
Over-the-counter treatments are available for plantar warts, which might be helpful if the warts aren’t too large or deep. However, you can get more effective treatments at Cohen & Garcha Podiatry, LLP,. Choices for treating warts include:
Most warts respond well to these noninvasive treatments. If your warts don’t clear up, your provider at Cohen & Garcha Podiatry, LLP, can remove them under a local anesthetic, but this is rarely necessary.
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