Warts are persistent and—worst of all—contagious. These small growths can form on the bottom or top of the foot and develop when the skin becomes infected with a virus.
Plantar warts are flat and usually have a hard surface, and most commonly occur in children, teens, the elderly, and people with certain conditions (allergies, immune system deficiencies, etc.). While not life-threatening, if left untreated plantar warts can swell in size and cause additional pain and bleeding. Warts do go away on their own, but this process can take months or even years—allowing the virus that causes warts to spread to others in the meantime.
Plantar wart symptoms include:
- A small rough growth located at the bottom or top of the foot.
- Tiny black or red dots. These are actually small, dried blood vessels inside the wart.
- Pain while walking or standing.
The virus that causes warts enters any cuts or weak points on the foot, and thrives in warm, moist environments—such as gyms, locker rooms, and pools. Because of this, the best way to prevent plantar warts is to always wear shoes or sandals. Socks and shoes should be kept clean and dry, while feet should always be checked periodically.
If you notice you have a wart, try not to touch or irritate it. Consult a doctor for immediate relief or removal. Medical techniques include various treatments, cryotherapy, or surgery. Home treatments of warts are always tempting and convenient, but in some cases can make things worse.
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