Warts

warts-1Warts or verrucae are lesions caused by a virus that grows within the skin (the epidermis). This virus, the human papillomavirus, can exist in a dormant yet infectious state outside the body. So it doesn’t require skin to skin contact to be spread. For the infection to occur and for the wart to grow there must be a break in the skin.

Warts appear as a small lump of hard skin with black dots. It is mostly occurs on the bottom of the foot. It is easily confused with a corn, but there are some simple differences:

  • A wart is painful when squeezed
  • A corn is painful when pushed
  • A wart can occur anywhere on the foot
  • A corn occurs over areas of pressure

Causes: This is one reason why warts are common in children; they have finer skin that is more easily damaged. Other reasons are that they have not yet built up a resistance to warts and more commonly use pools and shared showers.

warts-2Treatment: Often warts are painless and the only complaint is that of their appearance. There is a strong argument not to treat painless nor spreading warts particularly in children. It is postulated that exposure to the wart virus as a child gives a resistance in later life and some research seems to bear this out. However when the decision is taken to treat then there is only one mode of treatment. Because there are no specific antiviral drugs for warts the treatment must be destruction of the infected area. This can be done by a variety of means. These are:

  • Cryotherapy or Freezing
  • Chemical, Acids
  • Cautery or Burning
  • Surgical Removal

Discuss with Dr. Shumate

It is important to discuss your mobility and foot care problems with Dr. Shumate. He can advise which service or professional support is most appropriate to your needs. Dr. Shumate, after assessing your foot function, may recommend orthoses or insoles to help relieve foot pain and discomfort.