Warts belong on a Halloween witch, not on your feet!

As Shakespeare eloquently proposed, a rose, by any name, would smell as sweet. Applying that same theory, it goes without saying that a wart, by any name, would sound as cringe-worthy.  With Halloween right around the corner, the only place a wart belongs is on the tip of a witch’s nose.  Unfortunately, warts commonly find their way to the bottom surface of the foot.

These plantar warts are seen more often in children or teenagers but can affect people of any age.  Trying to get rid of a plantar wart is incredibly frustrating as most over-the-counter solutions are not strong enough. Plantar warts can also make it very uncomfortable to apply pressure and walk normally.

If you have a wart, at this point, you are probably asking, “Why me?” 

Warts are caused by a virus.  The virus lurks in warm, moist areas, like pool decks and shower floors. Being barefoot makes the soles of your feet vulnerable. Dry, cracked feet, or a cut provide the perfect gateway for the virus to enter.  Thus, when all these conditions are combined, and the stars are aligned, a wart is formed. The virus stays in the superficial layer of the skin forming a callus. The callus can grow if not treated and may sport black spots often termed “wart seeds”.  These black dots are blood vessels supplying the wart the oxygen and nutrients. In certain areas on the foot, a wart can feel like stepping on a pebble over and over. In other areas, a wart may not be as noticeable. However, if not treated, the virus can spread causing clusters of warts.

Not all bumps on  the sole of the foot are necessarily a wart. To the untrained eye, what seems to be a wart could actually be a corn, clogged sweat gland, callus, or other skin lesion, each with its own unique course of treatment. For this reason, all lesions on the feet should be evaluated by a podiatrist for the appropriate care.

If truly plagued by a plantar wart, the best treatment can be provided in a podiatrist’s office. While over the counter treatments and home remedies lack in effectiveness, a podiatrist can cure the wart with one of a number of effective options: freezing the wart, burning the wart off, using a laser, or surgical removal.

To prevent plantar warts:

  • wear shoes in public showers, or near wet environments like the pool
  • use clean, dry towels
  • adequately moisturize your feet daily to prevent cracking
  • cover any cuts on your feet with a Band-Aid

This Halloween season, leave the toil and trouble of warts to the goblins! Let our podiatrsts banish your bothersome bump.If you are in the Kansas City area and happen to have a lump or bump on your foot, make an appointment at Kansas City Foot and Ankle.   Warts are embarrassing and painful! Don’t hold off on getting professional treatment. Procrastinating will only let that wart get bigger.