The human papillomavirus causes warts, which are benign skin growths on soft tissue. A foot wart (also called a plantar wart or verruca plantaris) is a specific type of wart that develops when this virus enters the body through minor cuts or dry skin cracks on the bottom of your feet. It can happen easily if you walk around barefoot.
How Do You Know if You Have Foot Warts?
Foot warts are bumps that develop anywhere on the foot’s underside, including the heel, sole and ball of the foot. They do, however, commonly form on the heels or other weight-bearing areas, where pressure causes them to grow inward and typically beneath a callous (a thick layer of skin).
Generally, warts on the feet are very noticeable. They stand out because of their rough and spongy appearance. In addition, most warts are yellow, brown or gray with dark pinpoints, which are tiny capillaries supplying them with blood.
Other times, the wart flattens out from the compression of your body weight, pushing it against the floor when you walk. If so, it will just look like a callus instead of a typical wart (as mentioned above).
If you see something on your foot and are unsure if it is a callus or a wart, give it the squeeze test. It hurts when you pinch a plantar wart; a callus does not.
This test is crucial because you may use a pumice stone, nail file or emery board to rub away calluses and other hardened skin. However, removing foot warts yourself with these tools or other means is not a good idea. You could spread the infection to the surrounding skin and other body parts or infect others. In addition, foot warts are deeply rooted in the skin, so even if you scrub the outer layer off, the wart will regrow.
Can a Foot Wart Go Away Without Medical Intervention?
Plantar warts are usually harmless and disappear independently, although it can sometimes take years for that to happen. As a result, people bothered by warts’ appearance opt to have them removed.
However, certain instances might require you to visit Dr. Stuart Mogul. For example, if you feel pain. Sometimes, stepping on a wart can feel like stepping on a rock stuck in your shoe. Dealing with this discomfort is unnecessary.
Dr. Mogul is a foot and ankle surgeon with over 25 years of experience diagnosing and treating various foot conditions, including foot warts. Do not hesitate to call his office and schedule an appointment for foot warts removal.