HPV and Foot Warts: What's the Connection?

While not necessarily medically dangerous, warts, especially those that develop on your feet, can pose considerable problems with comfort.

At Neuhaus Foot and Ankle, our team of podiatric health care experts specializes in the many conditions that can affect your all-important feet, from serious neuropathies to more benign problems, like plantar warts.

In the following, we review what causes warts (spoiler alert — the human papillomavirus, or HPV) — and how we can remedy the problem.

The many faces of HPV

Most people are infected by one of the hundred or so HPV strains at some point during their lives. HPV can cause a wide range of health issues, from warts to far more serious problems like cancer. Luckily, the strain that leads to plantar warts isn’t dangerous, but the infection can be stubborn and uncomfortable.

Most people pick up this type of infection because of direct contact with the virus, which prefers warm, moist environments, like public swimming areas or showers.

Recognizing plantar warts

To figure out whether you’ve been infected by HPV, it’s useful to recognize the signs of plantar warts, which are so named because warts typically develop on the plantar (bottom) side of your foot.

There are two different types of plantar warts — mosaic and solitary. Mosaic warts are groups of growths that develop close together while solitary warts, as the name implies, are single growths.

Whatever their configuration, the hallmarks of plantar warts include:

Plantar warts most often form on weight-bearing areas, around the balls of your feet or on your heels, which is why they can cause so much discomfort.

Treating plantar warts

If you suspect you’ve developed plantar warts, it’s always a good idea to have us check them out. This is especially true if you have a pre-existing condition like diabetes as any problem in your feet is cause for concern.

If we confirm the presence of plantar warts, we can take several approaches to clear the infection, which include:

If your warts don’t respond readily to these treatments, we can perform an in-office procedure in which we excise the growth using an electric needle.

If you’d like to learn more about treating plantar warts, please contact one of our locations in Hermitage, Brentwood, Nashville, Mount Juliet, Murfreesboro, Waverly, Smyrna, Gallatin, or Lebanon, Tennessee, to set up an appointment.

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