Plantar warts are the warts that grow on your feet. They can present a problem for those individuals while playing sports or just walking. Undoubtedly, they are a source of pain and discomfort for many people. Unfortunately, when you have one wart, you can soon develop more, as warts are well known for their tendency to spread and get bigger at an extremely rapid rate.
Although warts can present themselves almost anywhere on the body, those that develop on the bottom of the feet are often times the ones that cause the most discomfort. Warts that develop on the feet have a tendency to grow and expand. The bigger they get, the more uncomfortable they can become especially if you are walking on them.
Plantar warts are noncancerous skin growths located on the soles of your feet. The Human papillomavirus (HPV) is typically the underlying cause of these warts. The virus infiltrates the foot by entering the body thru small cuts in the skin. Although plantar warts are not generally considered harmful to one’s overall health, they can be ugly and quite painful especially when located on the pressure absorbing areas of the foot.
Symptoms & Causes of Plantar Warts
Plantar warts are often confused with corns or callouses. The difference resides in the details of how they look. Plantar warts normally have:
- Lumps or bumps that cross over the normal skin ridges or lines of the feet.
- They normally have a rough surface with well-defined boarders overlying a hard, flat growth.
- Resemble small, grainy lumps on the pressure areas of the feet
- May see lumps with black pinpoint dots that are actually small, clotted blood vessels within the wart.
The human papillomavirus as mentioned above, is the primary source of plantar warts. Out of the almost 100 different serotypes of HPV, only a few are known to cause plantar warts. The HPV serotype known to cause plantar warts, thrive in environments that are warm, and moist like those areas located near pools, and showers. This is why parents often tell their kids never to go barefoot in public places.
Plantar warts, unfortunately, do not just get spread by you walking in a shower barefooted. You yourself can spread the virus directly to these wet, moist floors or even from any direct contact with your feet either from touching or scratching the infected foot.
Fortunately, not everyone who comes in contact with HPV will develop plantar warts. In fact, for many people, HPV exposure never results in any wart development unless the person has pre-existing damage to the skin, a history of prior multiple exposures to HPV, and if the infected area is persistently moist or sweaty. Kids tend to be more susceptible to developing plantar warts
Treatments for Plantar Warts
Over the years, there have been many medical and holistic treatment options that have been used in attempts to eliminate plantar warts. These treatments range from freezing the with liquid nitrogen to topical, at-home treatments. Unfortunately, over time it has shown that many of these techniques are rarely successful primarily because many of these treatments are superficial in nature. Warts are notoriously difficult to get rid of because they tend to penetrate deep below the skin surface. Only treatments that treat deep below the skin level, will allow you to effectively eliminate the source of the wart.
Treatment option of the past such as freezing techniques, only affect the most superficial layers of the wart requiring that the provider scrap and dig into the wart itself. These procedures can be uncomfortable and typically require multiple treatments that can sometimes take months to years to successfully eliminate the wart.
New Treatment Option For removing Warts
Modern medicine now allows us to effectively treat warts in less time and hopefully with less discomfort. Lasers have found their way into all areas of medical care. Wart treatments are now part of that evolution in laser care. We now know that laser treatment for warts is one of the most effective ways to eliminate them.
The goal in the laser treatment of warts is to effectively eliminate the virus underlying the wart by cutting off the blood supply to the wart. The Nd:YAG 1064 laser used by the staff at STL Vein and Cosmetics, is the perfect laser for the treatment of plantar warts. The wavelength specific to this laser is able to penetrate deep below the skin surface. This penetration is what allows the laser to target those blood vessels feeding the wart itself. In the end, by eliminating the blood supply to the wart, the virus causing the wart ultimately dies along with the wart.
Does the Laser Treatment Hurt?
The old methods used to treat plantar warts is far more uncomfortable than the more modern laser ablation of the plantar warts. The patient will feel some discomfort when the laser is actually fired and the heat energy is delivered to inside of the wart. Fortunately, these pulses of laser energy are quick and each treatment is over very quickly. Also, unlike the older treatment options that often required 10-15 treatments over a period of a few months, the laser treatment normally requires only 2-3 treatments to accomplish the desired result.
If you suffer with plantar warts and are looking to get rid of them, call the experts at STL Vein and Cosmetics to schedule your free consultation. The state of the art laser treatment for plantar warts is simple and highly effective.