Plantar Warts

Warts are a result of the most common viral infection of the skin. Plantar warts grow on the plantar surface, or the sole, of the foot. They can be found anywhere in this area but tend to produce symptoms in areas of pressure and friction. The virus that causes warts, the human papillomavirus, infects only the superficial layer of skin, producing a thickened callus-like growth that, if located in an areas subjected to pressure, can become quite tender.

Plantar Warts Causes

The HPV type 1 causes most plantar warts. The virus gains access to the skin through direct contact. It is presumed that inoculation of the skin probably occurs in places likely to be contaminated by others with plantar warts, like communal showers. There are a variety of innate mechanisms that seem to be important in resisting infections. Once infected by HPV, spontaneous resolution seems to depend on the development of immune lymphocytes that destroy the virus-infected cells. It appears that the levels of neutralizing antibodies in the blood induced by vaccination with HPV proteins can protect against certain types of infections.

Plantar Warts Symptoms and Signs

  • Foot pain that feels like a lump under the foot
  • Leg or back pain possibly caused by poor posture
  • Firm, warty (rough, bumpy, and spongy, some appear thick and scaly) lesions with tiny pinpoint dark spots inside (not always apparent):
  • These dark spots are minute, thrombosed (containing blood clots)
  • capillaries in the deeper layers of the skin.
  • Smooth surface with a gray-yellow or brown color
  • Located over areas of pressure or bony point such as the heel and ball of the foot
  • Usually flat because of pressure
  • Several warts may fuse to form mosaic warts

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