Plantar warts are common in children but can also occur in older people. Warts are named depending on the part of the body they occur on. For example, plantar warts specifically occur on feet. They are often on the bottom part although it is not hard to find a plantar wart on the toes.
The type that occurs on hands are known as palmer warts. They are closely related to plantar warts. Blood vessels occurring on a plantar wart on the foot can form dark spots, a phenomenon sometimes known as wart seeds.
The most notable feature in plantar warts is that rather than growing as projections out of the skin, they grow inwards into the skin. For this reason, they are flat. In comparison, warts on hands and fingers appear as layers of overgrown skin and form a dried rough top layer. You can search for pictures and images of the different types of warts that exist to get the exact idea of what we’re referring to.
Symptoms of a plantar wart on foot and on toe
The symptoms of a plantar wart on the foot are not very different from the general symptoms of warts. They include:
- Soft skin lesions occurring on the bottom of the feet. The lesions prefer the base of the toe, forefeet and the heel. Basically, they prefer the parts of the foot where a lot of pressure is applied when walking
- Black spots or warts seeds. These are basically clotted blood vessels
- A callus that forms on a single defined part of the foot where the wart has grown
- Discomfort or pain especially when walking
What causes warts on feet and on hands?
Plantar warts on the feet are viral. This means that they are caused by a certain strain of virus, specifically the HPV virus. Not all types of HPV virus cause plantar warts however. Of the over 100 strain of the virus that there are, 3 main strains are most notable in regards to the causes of plantar warts.
The virus enters the body through weak points on the sole such as physical injuries, burns and cuts. Naturally, the body’s immune system will fight off such an invasion. The virus is not highly contagious. It can, however, be transmitted after constant direct contact with a damp environment that is infected.
Children under the age of 16 years and above 12 years of age are most likely to develop a plantar wart on the foot after contamination. The chances are even higher for kids with a weakened immune system. Since the warts are caused by a virus, people who have a history of previous warts attacks are also at a higher risk of developing them.
Plantar warts are not common in older people. This can be attributed to the fact that such people are less likely to walk barefooted and have a more hardened sole.
How to remove plantar warts on feet and on hands
Plantar warts on foot, warts on the hands, and all other types of warts are not cancerous. In fact, most of them will disappear with time, though it can take up to 3 years.
However, if the wart is to change color, appearance, size, or constantly bleed, it should be removed. Also, if other small warts are to develop around the initial wart, they can form a cluster and end up spreading to other parts of the body. In some cases, warts can appear on the face or in parts of the body where they are bound to cause self-confidence issues. Here are the removal methods you can choose from:
Over the counter kits and products
Over the counter kits and products are widely available for the treatment of warts. Salicylic acid for example is available in drug stores and pharmacies. For effective results, you will need to soak your feet in warm water for about 15 minutes. This is meant to soften the warts. From there, apply the acid on the outer parts of the wart and leave it to corrode. You can apply a bandage and cotton wool if you are not using gels or patches. You can use a pumice stone or a file to remove the corroded outer parts of the wart. Most of the available over the counter remedies will take up to 12 weeks to remove the wart completely. The good thing is that they are less likely to leave scarring.
You can also purchase over the counter freezing kits such as compound W and FreeZone. Although they can be effective, they don’t compare to cryotherapy.
You can cut the wart off at home (not recommended) or get the operation done in a clinic. At home, you will need a sharp razor plus an antiseptic. Some recommend the use of tea tree oil to reduce contamination and spread of the wart.
In a clinic, the doctor will use an electric needle to cut off the wart. The procedure is quick and effective. The problem is that it will be painful and is likely to leave a scar.
There are no drugs that can be taken primarily to treat a plantar wart on the heel or even on the hands. A doctor can, however, prescribe some medications meant to boost your immunity or as vaccines for genital warts.
You can also be prescribed certain chemicals, such as salicylic acid, which are meant to be applied directly on the warts. This is the most recommended way to get rid of plantar warts in combination with cryotherapy.
Freezing warts, commonly known as cryotherapy, can be very effective in treating a wart on the finger and other parts of the skin where scarring may raise issues.
Cryotherapy is done using liquid nitrogen. It is a very cold substance that kills the blood vessels providing nutrients to the wart. For very large warts on the hands or ones occurring in clusters, several cryotherapy sessions may be needed.
This is yet another effective treatment procedure for warts and warts seeds. A pulse-dye laser treatment works by killing off the wart seeds (blood vessels), which then prevents nutrients from reaching the wart. With time, the wart will wither and fall off. This is also a common skin tag removal method.
Home remedies such as apple cider vinegar, garlic, basil leaves, banana peels and others have been suggested as effective and cheap ways to treat warts on fingers, on toes and on feet. You can watch full videos on how to treat plantar warts with any of these home remedies. They are sometimes effective and can actually be used even for anal skin tags removal.
Can duct tape remove warts on hands?
The duct tape method of plantar wart removal method has been used for a long time. However, some professionals are skeptical about how effective the method actually is.
The use of duct tape for this method requires you to have the duct tape, to begin with, which you can purchase locally over the counter. To apply it, first soak the warts in warm water for about 20 minutes. From there, simply apply the duct tape to the toe or whatever part of the skin the wart appears on.
Let the duct tape remain in place for about 6 days. On the seventh, remove the duct tape, leave the wart exposed to open air for a day and then use a pumice stone or a file to remove the outer layers of the wart.
Leave the wart exposed to open air for about a day and repeat the process till the wart is completely gone. The good thing with this procedure is that it is rarely painful and is less likely to leave scarring.
Why do plantar warts on heels and on toes occur?
You will notice on images and pictures that plantar warts on the heel and on the toe are more likely to occur. Warts are most likely to appear on parts of the skin where pressure and friction are common.
You are advised to always wear shoes or flip flops when visiting public showers. If you already have developed the warts, wear a water proof plaster material before visiting a public swimming pool.
Since plantar warts are common in children, always make sure to periodically check for the symptoms of the warts in your kids. This includes ensuring that feet are kept healthy through methods such as not sharing socks, wearing shoes and not going barefooted.
A plantar wart on the heel or any other part of the feet can cause difficulty in a person’s walking style and posture. Warts on hands and fingers, on the other hand, are a bit gross and can be painful in some cases. Although they will generally go away on their own, the best approach is to have them removed whether at home or in a clinic.
Make sure to ask your doctor about the available treatment options. If you are doing the wart removal process such as plantar wart duct tape removal, consider watching a detailed video on how the whole process should be done effectively.