The Unwanted Wart
Warts are the 2nd most common dermatologic problem. The only thing seen more often by dermatologists is acne. It affects 10% of children most commonly seen in ages 12-16. They are only slightly less common in adults at 7-10%.
Who gets them?
Anyone can get them, but some people are more susceptible. Children between 12 and 16 are most affected by plantar warts because they're more likely to go barefoot in public areas. The virus that causes plantar warts can enter the body through a cut or small abrasion on the foot. In addition, those who have undergone an organ transplant or chemotherapy are at risk because their immune systems are compromised. They can also spread from one family member to another if the carrier doesn't wear shoes or slippers indoors.
What are they?
Warts are small, rough lumps on the skin that are benign (non-cancerous). They often appear on the hands and feet and can look different depending on where they appear on the body and how thick the skin is. A wart on the sole of the foot is called a verruca.A wart is caused by the Human Papillomavirus(HPV), which causes the top layer of skin to thicken in a small area. Some warts stay small, but they can grow quite large and cluster an entire area of the foot if left untreated.
The appearance of each type of wart will depend on several factors:
-- Where it is located on your body
-- The strain (type) of HPV that is responsible for the wart
-- Factors such as whether you have a weakened immune system
-- Whether you have rubbed or knocked the wart
How do you treat warts?
There are several over-the-counter topical treatments that all have the same degree of efficacy. Most of these products are designed to eat away at the dead dry layers of the wart and the surrounding skin.
The doctors at Advanced Foot & Ankle Care have a number of treatment methods to their disposal. The treatment used varies on where the wart is located, the age of the patient, and the patients’ expectations. If a topical agent is used, many applications may be required over the course of several but the technique is highly successful. The most successful treatment is with the use of a CO2 laser to destroy the wart. Each of our 4 office locations, including our Piqua office, has one of these lasers.
Since certain HPV types are oncogenic (able to produce invasive malignant cancers), it is possible that plantar warts can rarely become invasive malignancies. Any wart-like lesion on the sole of the foot that does not resolve after appropriate therapy and continues to enlarge should be biopsied and examined by a pathologist. Warts can grow back. This indicates a virus is still in the body and growing. However, this is not cause for undue alarm. The virus that causes plantar warts is relatively harmless and causes few problems.
For any questions, contact Advanced Foot and Ankle Care at any of our 4 office locations.