For a growth as tiny as a wart, the amount of literature – most of which falls under Old Wives Tales regarding origin and treatment – is phenomenal. In those days, anyone who had a wart or encountered someone with warts had an opinion and treatment options.
What are Plantar Warts?
Plantar warts are hard grainy noncancerous growths on the heels or balls of the feet; areas that are under constant pressure. Sometimes, the warts grow inward and get covered by hard skin cells forming a callus. The condition is not life threatening and in some cases will get better with time, but when they begin to cause pain and discomfort, it is time to seek medical advice.
Long ago when people were unaware of viruses, the sudden appearances of warts made people’s imagination run wild. Some beliefs were:
- Washing hands in water used for boiling eggs resulted in warts
- If a child developed a wart, it was because he had carried a toad and a bump had been passed onto him
Now, we know that:
- The HPV or human pallillomavirus which accesses the body through cuts and abrasions found at the bottom of the feet causes cells to multiply rapidly and create warts.
- small grainy growths appear on the bottom of the foot
- a callus forms on an inward growing wart on the ball of the foot
- black pinpoints also known as wart seeds which are small clotted blood vessels appear on the sole of the foot
- pain in the foot while standing or walking
- a lesion forms over the ridges in the skin of the foot
In the olden days, people treated warts in the following manner:
- they would rub the wart with a piece of beef and bury it. As the meat rotted in the ground, so did the wart
- the afflicted person would wear a live toad in a bag around his neck until the toad died and the wart would fall away
- warts could be sold, thrown, given or washed away and some even rubbed their warts with the mud gathered from the boots of mourners
Nowadays, podiatrists advise that self-treatment is not recommended. If the wart is painful or causes discomfort:
- a topical acidic medication can be applied
- Curettage can be performed
- Cryotherapy (freezing)
- laser surgery
We at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists located in Montgomery, AL, offer some of the latest technology in surgery and our website is comprehensive and user friendly. Our experienced podiatrist, Dr. Michael L. Rosenberg, often treats plantar warts and can determine the best treatment plan for you. To rid yourself of unbecoming and painful plantar warts, call us at (334) 396-3668 or make an appointment online.