Caused by a virus (human papilloma virus), a plantar wart grows in the skin, causing pain with shoewear, standing, and/or walking. It has never definitively been proven how the virus is contracted, nor has it been proven that gym floors or locker rooms cause their development. More likely, the virus develops due to a genetic predisposition. Nevertheless, the virus implants into the skin and reproduces, developing a nodule, often containing black spots, in the skin.
If left untreated, a plantar wart can become larger, involving more of the skin, and can spread to other areas of the foot. In rare occasions, the virus can be come cancerous.
Treatment options vary. Depending upon the physician's preference and opinion, treatment can involve topical lotions or acid containing preparations, freezing, burning, lasering, excision, injection of different medications into the lesion, and oral medications.
In my opinion, anesthetizing the area, scooping out the lesion, and cauterizing the outer tissue to destroy the skin cells which may contain the virus is the best option and offers the lowest recurrence rate.
Again, other physicians and podiatrists have opinions which may vary greatly from mine.
Topical medications (including those over the counter) are not effective at treating plantar warts. The skin on the bottom of the foot is much thicker than anywhere else on the body. For this reason, the topical medications do not penetrate deep enough to kill the virus entirely.
After the procedure, care involves soaking the area twice a day in epsom salt/water solution, application of an antibiotic ointment (Neosporin/Bacitracin/Triple antibiotic ointment), and a Band-Aid. The deficit left after excision of the wart will fill in with regular tissue over a period of one to six weeks, depending on the size of the wart.
If you suffer from foot pain, give us a call at 270-684-5252.
Dr Block is an excellent podiatrist. The staff is friendly and very professional.