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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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Plantar Warts

Plantar warts appear as brown or gray hard, thick patches of skin. Plantar warts often appear to have dark specks. Plantar warts on feet are common. They are often flat due the pressure exerted on the feet. Plantar warts can cause pain while walking. They may cause discomfort that may feel like there is a small pebble in the shoe.

Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). It is unlikely to develop a wart with every contact with HPV. However, the warts can be spread by touching the wart then touching other parts of the body. They can also be spread from person to person by contaminated showers and towels. People with foot injuries or weakened immune systems have a higher risk of developing plantar warts. Children and teenagers are especially susceptible to developing warts.
Most plantar warts are harmless and will even go away on their own in a few months, but can last for years. If someone experiences one or more plantar wart complications, they should seek medical advice. If a wart bleeds, becomes inflamed, or causes severe pain, a doctor should be consulted. Some untreated plantar warts can turn into precancerous lesions.

Over-the-counter treatments are available to get rid of a bothersome wart. A salicylic acid preparation is the most common over-the-counter medication. If a wart does not respond to treatment or if a fever develops after treatment, the affected person should seek medical attention. Overly aggressive treatment can cause a troublesome scar. People with diabetes, who are pregnant, or have circulatory or cardiovascular problems should never use the over-the-counter medications. Warts may reappear after treatment.

There are precautions that can be taken to prevent plantar warts. People should not walk barefoot, especially in public showers. If you have a plantar wart, it should be covered with waterproof tape when in public swimming pools or showers. Feet should be kept clean and dry. Socks should be changed daily. Children’s feet should be checked regularly. People should refrain from sharing shoes and socks.

To avoid enlarging or spreading the plantar wart, avoid picking at it, scratching it, or touching it excessively. Avoid contact with warts on other people. Try to limit contact with the wart against other parts of the body. Small cuts and scratches are especially susceptible to infection of the human papillomavirus and the warts it causes. Hands should be washed frequently, especially after dressing, handling the wart, or treating the wart.

If left untreated, warts can spread to the surrounding area forming a cluster called a mosaic wart. These larger warts can be painful and make it difficult to walk. Several treatment options are available. Besides the over-the-counter treatments, a doctor can remove a plantar wart surgically or with cryotherapy.


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