Do I have a wart on my foot?
What is a wart?
A wart is caused by a viral infection known as the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts are characterised by a growth of raised hard skin and they can generally be found on the hands and feet. Warts also have little black spots within the skin. They have the ability to get bigger and even multiply.
How did I get a wart?
The virus that causes a wart can enter your body through cuts and breaks in the skin. People who are immunocompromised are more likely to develop warts, as their body is less likely to recognise the virus as foreign.
Common places that people pick up the HP virus are communal areas where you are barefoot, for example swimming pools, communal showers and gyms.
What treatments are available?
Your Podiatrist can help with a variety of wart treatments. All treatments involve debriding the non-viable tissue initiallly. The rate at which your wart progresses depends on the size and length of time you have have had the wart.
The 3 most effective treatments are:
- Needling – Your Podiatrist will administer a local anaesthetic and once the area is numb, they will puncture the wart with a small needle multiple times which you will not be able to feel. This process aims at initiating an immune response. Generally 1-2 treatments are required. This treatment is one of our most successful.
- Salicylic acid – A Past is applied to the wart and left in place for around 4-5 days. This treatment aims to reduce the number of infected skin cells and promote the immune response to form new cells. This will generally requires 3-4 treatments.
- Silver nitrate – A liquid is applied to the wart, turning the skin a black colour. This treatment cauterizes the skin cells and promotes the production of new cells. This will generally requires 3-4 treatments.
Can I get another wart after I have treated one?
There are many different strains of the HPV, not all will cause plantar warts. However it is possible to be reinfected with a different strain of the virus.
Our recommendation is to avoid being barefoot in communal areas where possible. Wearing thongs in a communal wet space is a common and easy preventative measure. Treating a wart as soon as it arises usually has the quickest and most effective results.