Plantar warts are a common infection that affects the skin on the feet. Caused by the human papillomavirus, warts are widespread, particularly among children. Plantar warts are benign skin growths which result from a viral infection affecting the top layer of skin. These warts are not harmful but can cause some irritation or mild discomfort. In most cases, patients opt for wart removal because the warts are unattractive and make him or her feel awkward about revealing his or her feet. Plantar warts are small, similar to the size of an eraser end on a pencil. Plantar warts sometimes grow in clusters referred to as mosaic wart.
Warts usually spread through indirect contact. For example, if a person with a wart touches or uses something, like a communal shower at a swimming pool or gym, without wearing shoes or covering the wart and then another person uses or touches the same surface, the second person can contract the virus. However, in most cases, the person contracting the wart virus will typically have a compromised immune system, leaving him or her vulnerable to infections and viruses. It is easier to contract the wart virus after being sick and it is relatively common to get one after suffering a cold or the flu.
Some warts will eventually go away on their own. However, there is no guarantee that the warts will go away quickly or on their own. In most cases, plantar warts require professional treatment to penetrate to these deepest layers to eliminate the entire wart. Over-the-counter medications are often not strong enough to remove the entire wart enabling the wart to grow again. The doctors at the Foot & Ankle Specialists of New Jersey treat warts with medications to penetrate the skin and kill the virus, and with lasers to destroy the entire wart.