Plantar Warts

Don’t let them go untreated.

Verruca plantaris, or plantar warts, can be painful and embarrassing.
The most common breeding grounds for plantar warts are communal showers, floors in public swimming pools, even your shower at home. Breakouts can also occur among people who share gym or athletic facilities or in settings where bare feet are the rule. Stock photo from istockphoto.com.
“Warts can occur on any compromised skin surface, but they are most common on the bottoms of the feet and on the hands,” explains board-certified podiatric surgeon Robert P. Dunne, DPM, who has offices in Melbourne and Palm Bay. “They tend to invade the skin through small abrasions or cuts, some that you may not even realize you have.
“The plantar wart can be quite painful since you are putting pressure on the area by simply standing. Paring them down can often relieve some of the pressure, but a more aggressive treatment may be required.”
Dr. Dunne treats a wide variety of podiatric complaints such as fungal nails, tinea pedis (athlete’s foot), dermatitis; heel, foot and ankle pain; tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, hammer toes, bunions and other bone issues.
“There are several treatment options for a plantar wart, but not all are invasive,” the doctor reveals. “Treatments can be oral, such as Tagamet®, or topical, such as salicylic acid or retinoid cream. There is also a slightly invasive procedure called cryotherapy, which causes the wart to scab and fall off, or an invasive procedure, where there is an excision of the wart. Both of these procedures are done in the office in just a few minutes.”

Risk Factors for Plantar Warts

There are many risk factors for plantar warts, especially in our Florida environment.
“Age can be a factor in the development of a wart,” explains Dr. Dunne. “Children are more susceptible because they have not built up an immunity to the virus.”
Dr. Dunne accentuates that “there are several over-the-counter and home remedies that people can use to treat plantar warts, but we strongly caution those who are susceptible to infection or persons with diabetes not to try these without consulting their doctor.”
People with weakened immune systems are particularly susceptible to the virus, he notes. People should keep in mind that warts are contagious and, if affected, one should take precautions so as not to spread the virus.
Preventative measures include: not touching other people’s warts; not sharing towels, shoes or socks; wearing flip-flops in the shower (if affected, this should be at home or in a community shower setting), covering the wart to prevent exposure and not scratching or picking at the wart, which can easily cause them to spread.
Lake Washington Foot & Ankle is a comprehensive podiatric medicine clinic offering treatment for everything from bunions to hammertoes. “We treat ingrown toenails, warts and neuromas,” assures Dr. Dunne. “We also do clinical trials for onychomycosis [fungal toenails] in an effort to find better and more effective treatment for this ailment.
“Our patients come first, and we recommend they take action now if they have a problem.”

Article courtesy of Lake Washington Foot & Ankle Center.
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