Warts: Spotty Skin Growths

Bumps and lumps on the skin are not normal. Sometimes the problem is simple, like a small allergic reaction. Other times it’s more serious, like cancer. Other problems, like warts, are more frustrating and uncomfortable than destructive.

What Are These Bumps?

Although they are visible lesions on the surface of your skin, warts are actually caused by contagious viruses. They are noncancerous growths that develop when the human papillomavirus (HPV) enters the skin through micro-cuts or breaks. They can develop anywhere on the body, but the feet are especially susceptible since they frequently come into contact with dirty, contaminated surfaces. The lesions that appear on the soles of your feet are known as plantar or verruca warts. Pressure on these spots can be very uncomfortable and make standing or walking painful.

These growths are typically rough and grainy looking. Usually the spot is grey or brown, though it may appear to be just a corn or callus. You may develop a real callus over the lesion when it grows on your sole, especially if it grows inward instead of out. Sometimes the spot will appear to have black pinpoints in it. The infection may spread slightly and create clusters of growths as well. Sometimes it is relatively harmless and may not create many problems for your feet, but the lesions can be quite uncomfortable and unsightly.

How Are They Treated?

Treating warts does take time. Not all remedies work for every person. To prevent infection, having the spot treated professionally is particularly important for anyone with a condition that impairs the immune system, like diabetes. Our doctors will evaluate your condition to rule out other possible culprits for the lesions. Then our staff will work with you to determine the therapy that will best eliminate the growth.

Treatments range from topical medications to minor procedures. Cryotherapy uses super-cold substances, like liquid nitrogen, to destroy the lesion and the virus causing it. Other treatments use acids to dissolve the growth. We may recommend some topical medications that breakdown the layers of the wart over time, slowly removing the infected tissue.

If medications are not effective, minor procedures may be more effective. Your foot can be numbed up and the growth excised with a scalpel to get rid of it quickly. Sometimes rapid-pulse laser treatments can also eliminate them. The powerful beam sears the tiny blood vessels that feed the lesion. This cuts off the infected tissue from its nutrients and allows it to die and fall off.

Warts or any other growths on your feet are best assessed, diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible. Prompt examination and care can help to prevent further complications that are possible if left untreated. Country Foot Care doctors are available for appointments, which can be made either online using the MAKE AN APPOINTMENT button at the top of this page or by phone to either of our locations during regular office hours.