Warts on feet are caused by HPV (human papillomavirus). In medical terms foot warts are also referred to as plantar warts. There's plenty of ways through which you may come into contact with the virus and develop a wart. Most common example is if you have a small cut on your feet and you're walking barefoot in a public place.
Plantar warts are generally not a serious health concern but they can cause discomfort in your day to day life. Since foot is your weight bearing area, having a wart over there can be more painful than having it on your fingers.
Most people develop immunity towards HPV as they age which is why plantar warts are more common in children and young adults. But if you're not careful, you may still end up coming in contact with the virus and developing a plantar wart. Which is why you should avoid walking barefoot especially in public locker rooms.
Plantar warts are also common in people who have an underlying condition that makes the immune system weaker. One of the examples is HIV/AIDS. The weaker the immune system is, the more the chances of HPV penetrating your skin and resulting into warts.
What do plantar warts look like?
- They're usually gray or brown in color but it may vary in some cases
- The texture of the wart can be grainy or rough
- Wart that is on the heel can also grow inward due to the pressure and friction
- You may also notice black pinpoints on the wart. They're commonly known as wart seeds. Scientifically they're just clotted blood vessels
- This small and fleshy growth can often be painful as well
What are the best treatment options for plantar warts?
- Salicylic acid: This will most likely be done by your doctor because you may need a higher concentration of salicylic acid to destroy the wart. It can also help your immune system fight off the underlying infection. This process is a bit time consuming and may require several visits to your doctor.
Cryotherapy: It is a process in which very cold temperature is used to remove the plantar wart. Mostly liquid nitrogen is used but in some cases cold aerosol sprays are also used depending on the type and size of the wart.
Apple cider vinegar: ACV is an acetic which can kill the virus strains that cause the plantar warts. It does cause some irritation but that irritation is responsible for your immune system fighting the virus in return.
Clear nail polish: Application of clear nail polish on warts has been known to suffocate them just like the duct tape. However this home remedy isn't backed up by enough evidence. But the coating that the nail polish provides on top of the wart is what causes it to suffocate and eventually have it go away.
- Laser: This method is used to burn the wart blood vessels through the laser beam that causes the wart to die and fall off.
- Surgery: Doctors use scalpel to cut the lesion which may also help prevent any new warts. Sure this will result into scarring but it fades away over time.
Aven buzz wart remover pen: This is one of the professional devices that can be used at home to get rid of warts easily and effectively. Similar devices are also used by dermatologists which actually costs a lot of money.