Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Friday, November 9, 2007

Detecting Plantar Warts

Plantar warts are warts that occur on the soles of the feet. They are noncancerous growths caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). This virus is fairly common and may be present on the floor of a shower, especially public showers such as at the gym. They are treatable, but can cause pain, discomfort, or complications if left untreated.

Detecting a plantar wart can be done by examining the bottom of the foot for a wart. The human papillomavirus enters the skin through a small cut or abrasion. The virus causes the formation of a plantar wart.

Plantar warts appear as bumps on the bottom of the foot. These bumps are often hard with well-defined edges. They are usually brown or gray in color. The warts may have a rough or grainy surface. They also interrupt the natural lines of the skin on the soles of the feet. Plantar warts are often flat due to the pressure on the soles of the feet during walking, standing, and other activity.

They may contain tiny black spots, which are caused by clotted blood vessels in the affected area. When diagnosing a plantar wart, a doctor may pare it down with a scalpel. A plantar wart will bleed when cut. This distinguishes it from a callus or corn, which do not have a blood supply.

Once a plantar wart is detected, there are options for treatment. Some plantar warts go away without treatment, however some untreated plantar warts develop into precancerous lesions or cause excessive pain if left untreated. Therefore, it’s usually best to treat the plantar wart. Consult your doctor if you have any questions or if there is bleeding or inflammation of the affected area.
Treatment for plantar warts involves its removal. This can be done with over-the-counter remedies or by a doctor. The over-the-counter medications should not be used by people with diabetes, who are pregnant, or have circulatory or cardiovascular problems.

Plantar warts can reappear after their removal. If one persists after home treatment or recurs, see your doctor. Also, if the plantar wart changes in color or appearance or multiplies, you should seek treatment from your doctor.

Plantar warts can be spread to other areas of the soles of the feet or to other people. Proper hygiene is important to limit its spread. Shower floors and towels should be thoroughly cleaned. Plantar warts can also be spread by bleeding or skin shed from the plantar wart. Hands should be washed after touching or treating the affected area of the plantar wart to avoid further contamination. Scratching the plantar wart should be avoided.

The soles of the feet are often neglected until something is causing pain or discomfort. Problems can often be avoided or resolved quickly if the soles of the feet are checked regularly and proper hygiene is followed. This is especially important for young children and those with diabetes.


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