Plantar wart is a growth on the skin of a viral nature, it is also called corn. It is clear from medical terminology that such formations are localized on the soles of the feet and toes. From the point of view of oncological risk, they are not dangerous, but they cause a lot of discomfort when walking due to their painful squeezing.
Causes of plantar warts
All types of warts, including plantar warts, are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). You can get it through close contact with infected people or through everyday life. The virus dies quickly from sunlight, but feels great even at high humidity. Therefore, HPV infection most often occurs in bathrooms, saunas, swimming pools. The penetration of the virus into the body is facilitated by microtraumas and cracks on the skin, as well as reduced immunity.
With the body's strong protective properties, the virus can remain dormant indefinitely after infection. But if the immunity is reduced, it begins to actively multiply, provoking the appearance of warts of different localization on the skin. 1, 2, 4, 27 and 57 subtypes of HPV are most often responsible for their appearance.
Several predisposing factors contribute to the appearance of such formations:
- shoes that are too narrow or too big;
- frequent wearing of high heels;
- various foot deformities (including straight legs);
- various diseases of the ankles (arthritis, arthrosis, etc. )
Warts on the leg are more common in people with excessively dry skin and hyperkeratosis.
Thus, the causes of plantar warts are the same in all cases (HPV infection), but the predisposing factors are different. The number and size of elements on the skin depends on them and the state of immunity.
What plantar warts look like
A wart on the foot looks like a rounded growth of skin. It can be of different sizes, but rarely exceeds two inches in diameter. It rises above the level of the skin no more than three millimeters, but at the same time with the root it goes deep inside. The color cannot be distinguished from the surrounding skin or be darker or lighter. Often such formations have a yellow or gray hue. Visually, when viewed inside the elements, black dots or lines can be seen (they are also clearly visible in the photo). This is what the capillaries in which the blood clot formed look like, due to the compression of the Horny veins by masses.
Initially, the plantar wart has a smooth surface. But over time it becomes hard, rough, thickened. It is a lustful mass that gives these nipples a yellow color.
An important symptom of plantar warts is pain when compressed. Each step inflicts severe acute pain on the patient.
These warts are very similar to dark circles. The personality on the wreath is especially pronounced due to the strong pain of both formations. The main difference is that there is no skin pattern on the surface of the nipples, while it remains on the eyelids.
Diagnosis of plantar wart
The competent dermatologist diagnoses this disease based on only one clinical picture. In some cases, additional dermatoscopy is required. The absence of a skin pattern on the formation and the presence of capillaries with blood clots in its structure confirms this diagnosis.
Treatment of plantar warts
Plantar warts are harder to get rid of than similar formations in other areas due to their deeper penetration into the dermis. In the case of small and newly formed elements, necrotizing external preparations can be used. Large and deep warts are removed surgically. At the same time, old formations should first be softened by keratolytic agents.
External wart removers
In some cases, self-destruction of such formations is possible. However, as the plantar wart hurts quite badly, patients do not want to wait and try to get rid of them as soon as possible.
Any plantar wart medicine with a necrotizing effect is prescribed to remove small and superficial elements.
These products contain acids that clot skin proteins, causing necrosis. Refrigerant-containing medications have a similar effect. But they cause necrotizing effects by freezing the tissue, not chemical damage.
All of these drugs are applied in the form of a dot to the formation. It is necessary to strictly control that the substance does not fall on the surrounding tissues, because that will see through. After the treatment, a wound will remain at the site of the former nipple, which will be covered with bark. After healing it will fall off on its own. You can perform such treatment at home, but only according to the doctor's instructions.
In this way, it is possible to remove a plantar wart of only small size and by shallow penetration into the skin. For large elements, you need to choose other methods of removal, because incomplete destruction of nipple tissue will definitely lead to its recurrence.
Surgical methods of plantar wart removal
There are different ways to remove a plantar wart in surgery. Gentle methods are preferred:
- laser removal;
- radio wave knife;
All of these procedures are performed on an outpatient basis. Patients can go home literally minutes after completion, they just need to treat the wound regularly at home.
The most effective and safest methods for removing plantar warts are laser or radio wave knife excision. When performed, the vessels coagulate immediately, which is a good prevention of bleeding and secondary infection. Complications when removing skin formations with these methods are extremely rare. The same cannot be said for cryodestruction and electrocoagulation, so these methods of treatment have faded into the background and are rarely used.
If the warts are large or old (covered with a large amount of horny mass), it is recommended that you treat them with keratolytic agents two weeks before the removal procedure. For this purpose, salicylic ointment or acid and other drugs are prescribed. Thus, it is possible to exfoliate a part of the cornea, to make the formations softer and more flexible. This will also make it easier to remove the wart faster.
In rare cases, when there are many elements or there are doubts about their nature, a doctor may advise surgical excision with a scalpel. With this method of removing warts, the rehabilitation period and the high risk of scarring are much longer, so it is used only under strict indications.
Characteristics of plantar warts in children
In children older than five years, plantar warts are quite common because they often run barefoot, get injured and do not always follow the rules of personal hygiene. Immune failure due to regular contact with sick children (in kindergartens and schools), which leads to an increased likelihood of warts.
Treatment of such formations in a child is best started with external drugs. You can try peeling the shallow elements using salicylic ointment, followed by a pod. Immunomodulatory drugs have been shown to work well. If applied regularly to the nipple, it can be removed in a few weeks.
If the elements are deep, apply necrotizing agents or remove them with a laser or radio knife.
It is absolutely impossible to protect yourself from the appearance of warts, but you can reduce the risk of their appearance. To do this, it is necessary to act in two directions: to remove predisposing factors and to stimulate the defense organism.
To achieve the first goal, you need:
- follow the rules of personal hygiene (do not walk barefoot in public places, wash your feet daily and treat cuts and injuries in a timely manner);
- choose comfortable shoes by size;
- in time to prevent foot deformities and treat joint disease.
A healthy lifestyle, sports, hardening, taking vitamin complexes and immunostimulating drugs prescribed by a doctor will help maintain the body's defenses at a good level.
In case of excessive dry skin and hyperkeratosis, regular medical pedicures and peels are recommended. In case of excessive sweating of the feet, you must use special means to treat hyperhidrosis. By adhering to all these rules, the risk of developing warts on the feet will be minimal.
Plantar warts are not a dangerous disease, but they cause a lot of discomfort due to pain when walking. Fortunately, in modern medicine there are many ways to get rid of it quickly and with minimal risk of new relapses. To do this, you must consult a dermatologist and strictly follow all his obligations and recommendations.