Plantar warts are growths that develop on the bottoms of your feet due to the human papillomavirus. For most people, plantar warts are just a nuisance, but for people with other health problems, such as diabetes, they can be dangerous. Here are four things diabetics need to know about plantar warts.
What are the signs of plantar warts?
If you have a plantar wart, you may feel pain in part of your foot when you walk or stand. When you inspect this part of your foot, you'll see a growth that looks fleshy or grainy. Sometimes, a callus can grow over top of the wart. You may also see black dots in the center of your growth or callus. People call these dots "wart seeds" but they are not actually the seeds of a wart; they are just your blood vessels.
Why are plantar warts dangerous for diabetics?
Diabetes can damage the nerves in your feet and make it harder for you to feel pain. Diabetes can also lead to poor circulation in your feet by narrowing and hardening your veins. Poor circulation makes it harder for your feet to heal from injuries and also makes you more susceptible to infections.
These problems mean that you can have a plantar wart without realizing it, since you may not feel pain when you're walking around. If you do notice the wart, and try to remove it at home with over-the-counter wart treatments, your foot may not heal properly. You may develop an infection at the site, and if your nerves are damaged, you may not feel any pain associated with the infection. This is very dangerous, and if you're diabetic, you should never try to treat a plantar wart at home.
How do podiatrists treat plantar warts?
Podiatrists can treat plantar warts in multiple ways. You may be given a prescription for a topical fluorouracil cream that can kill your warts. If that doesn't work, your podiatrist can perform in-office procedures like cryotherapy. During cryotherapy, the wart will be frozen off. Lasers can also be used to kill and remove the wart. After these treatments, your podiatrist will need to carefully monitor your feet to make sure you heal properly and don't get an infection.
How can you prevent plantar warts?
You can prevent these warts by always wearing shoes in places where the spread of warts is common, like communal showers or around public swimming pools. If you develop a plantar wart, don't touch it, and if you do, wash your hands immediately afterwards to avoid spreading it to other parts of your skin.
Plantar warts can be dangerous for people with diabetes, so if you think you have one, don't try to get rid of it by yourself. Make an appointment with a podiatrist at place like the Foot & Ankle Center Of Philadelphia to have the wart safely removed.
A few weeks ago, my wife made me go to the nail salon with her. Instead of sitting around for hours while my wife perused nail decals and polish options, I decided to get a pedicure. It was a really relaxing experience, but I quickly discovered that the process was about more than a foot bath. Before I knew it, someone was cutting and sanding my toenails. Unfortunately, a few days later I developed a massive ingrown toenail infection, which my podiatrist attributed to my visit to the nail salon. I want everyone to know how to properly care for their feet, so I made this website.