I believe the second most common thing to come through my door during the course of a day would be warts. (The most common being heel pain). These are not called plantar’s warts as sometimes commonly thought. They are called plantar warts because they grow on the plantar surface of your foot.
I want to remind my readers that plantar warts are a virus. It is an HPV (human papilloma virus). This means it is related to chicken pox, cold sores, genital warts, finger and facial warts. Much like other viruses like hand/foot/mouth disease or even the common cold, a virus can only cured by your own immune system. There is no cure.
Before you run away in despair, please note that what we do at the foot clinic is to help your immune system so that it can identify and attack your virus. Without our help, your body marks it as ‘normal’ and it eventually becomes a part of your foot and can even spread. Yuck!
Common Places To Contract Warts
The most common places to pick up warts are areas with many different people go barefooted. The number place by far for my patient population are swimming pools. These are both public as well as grandma’s backyard pool. I swear it’s enough to turn everyone into a germaphobe. Do NOT go barefooted at your local public pool shower, gym locker rooms, public bathrooms and the like. I am surprised when I even go to a public restroom at Centre Island or the Beaches in Toronto and find barefooted people in the washrooms. Yuck!
People, please wear flip flops, Croc sandals, or some sort acceptable layer of protection between you and the dirty public floors! Now if you are the type to be earthy and unburdened by the idea of warts, please make sure that early detection and treatment is the key to getting rid of them.
A wart almost always starts off as a painful callused area. These areas are usually thicker skin because you walk on this part of your foot more. One would think that they are more stronger and thicker but they are actually more weak and get walked on more so the virus gets into one’s foot that way.
How Warts Look Like
All you have to do is do a simple google image search for warts and you would see what it would look like. My best analogy would be that the skin lines in your feet (the ones that make up your fingerprints) are like wood grain. If you see a spot that looks like a knot in wood grain, that is, the lines go around the lesion, it is most likely a corn or a wart. Often times, it has little black dots. These are dried up blood vessels (capillaries) as warts are surrounded by blood vessels. One last sign is, a wart will not be as painful to push as it is to squeeze on its sides. Usually a wart is very painful to squeeze in on its sides rather than pushing down.
When you detect a wart, please see your local chiropodist as we are the experts at treating these lesions at most levels.
Early detection and subsequent treatment is key. In my experience, the longer one waits to get treated, the more visits it takes to get rid of it. This is because your body has tagged it as its own and doesn’t recognize it as a virus or foreign body anymore. It has been tricked by the wart virus and your body will even help rebuild the wart’s hold on your foot once treated if it has been longstanding. Visit one of our Comfort Stride clinics today to get the proper treatment you deserve.