Warts are attached to several popular myths, some of which aren’t quite accurate. As a result, many people do not know the true story behind these fairly common viral growths. At Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma, we offer professional wart removal services for our patients, but having the right facts about plantar warts can lower your risk of developing a wart on the bottom of a foot in the first place.
Plantar Wart Causes and Symptoms
To start, it is simply not true in the slightest that warts can be contracted by making contact with a toad or frog. In all likelihood, the myth was started because of the physical similarity between warts and the bumps found on certain toads. Instead, the cause of warts is actually a common virus known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV tends to thrive in warm, damp environments. Places like gym locker rooms, showering areas, and indoor pool decks are common homes for the offensive virus.
Whereas the virus often resides in places like those, there still needs to be a cut, scrape, break or weak spot in the skin on the bottom of your foot for the virus to infiltrate the body and cause a wart to grow. Further, HPV is common, but there are more than 100 different strands of the virus, and only a few of them cause warts. It is also important to know that a virus strand that causes a plantar wart for one person might not for next person (even if the two people are related). Now, the virus is somewhat transferable via direct contact from person to person, but this actually doesn’t happen all that often.
The most glaringly-obvious symptom of these viral growths is the wart itself. The specific appearances of warts vary based on the type an individual has, but plantar warts are frequently noted as looking like a rough, fleshy growth on the bottom of a foot. If you examine a wart closely, you will often see black spots. These are commonly thought to be “seeds” of a wart, but this is another myth, as warts do not have seeds. What you are actually observing are the ends of tiny, clotted blood vessels.
Generally speaking, warts are rather harmless. Of course, when one develops on the underside of your foot, symptoms may include discomfort, tenderness, and even pain from walking or standing for extended periods. If a wart changes color or appearance, be sure to contact Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma so we can examine it for you in our OKC podiatrist office.
Wart Treatment Options
One more misconception about plantar warts is that they will not go away unless treated. The reality of the matter is that they do disappear in time. Further, they are often fairly harmless. Now, with that being said, the “harmless” nature doesn’t take into account any discomfort or pain you are experiencing while walking or standing. Additionally, it might take years for a wart to disappear on its own. As such, you might be interested in learning about wart treatment options.
There are wart removal kits that can be purchased over-the-counter at pharmacies and grocery stores. However, these products often contain salicylic acid, which can potentially damage your healthy skin around the wart. Additionally, there is also debate within the medical community over how effective these products actually are. Plantar warts, in particular, usually are found beneath the surface of the skin, which further reduces the odds of such a kit being able to help the situation.
Here at Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma, we offer professional wart removal services in the event you or any of your family members develop one of these viral growths. We can prescribe effective medication, perform surgery, or use cryotherapy methods to effectively remove your wart.
While it is no myth that warts are normally quite harmless and will go away in time, these unsightly growths can still be a source of embarrassment, discomfort, and the virus can be spread within your family. Instead of waiting up to a couple of years for a plantar wart to disappear on its own, come see our medical professionals here at Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma. Contact our Oklahoma City foot doctor office today by calling (405) 418-2676 for more information, or request your appointment with us online today.
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