Plantar warts are noncancerous growths that typically appear on the sole, heel, or ball of the foot. They are usually identified by their rough, spongy texture, and often display a coloration of gray, brown, or yellow, with small dark spots—these are tiny blood vessels that supply the wart.
The human papilloma virus (HPV) is responsible for the development of plantar warts. It infiltrates the body through the skin on the bottom of the feet, typically through cuts or breaks. The virus is commonly found on contaminated surfaces, such as the tiled floors of public locker rooms, showers, and swimming pool areas.
Certain individuals are more susceptible to the HPV virus that leads to plantar warts. Risk factors include:
– Repeated exposure to HPV, such as walking barefoot in shared public spaces like locker rooms and common areas.
– Weakened immune system.
In some cases, the virus can be transmitted from other parts of the body to the feet, a phenomenon known as remote location seeding.
Upon initial diagnosis, individuals often experience a sensation of a “lump” on the bottom of the foot when standing, akin to having a stone in their shoe. Without proper treatment, plantar warts can grow to up to 1 inch in circumference and may form clusters, known as mosaic warts. In severe cases, they can lead to alterations in gait or posture, resulting in leg or back pain.
If you’re dealing with plantar warts, it’s crucial to consult your podiatrist for effective treatment options tailored to your specific situation.