wartWhat is it?

Also known as verruca pedis. Viral infection that usually appears as a hard, horned, rough surface on the sole of the foot and/or the toes. Severe cases can often involve much of the bottom surface of the foot .

What causes it?

Caused by the papillomavirus. Virus thrives in warm, moist areas such as the bathroom shower, carpet, locker room floors, and swimming pool change rooms and deck areas. It enters the body through open cracks or sores; it remains there to cause infection and spread if feet are not well washed and dried after exposure. It can spread to other parts of the body. People with diabetes are particularly susceptible because their immune system is often compromised.

Signs and Symptoms:

One or more hard, rough, raised areas on the sole of the foot; black dots may be seen in the hard skin and the areas may have a “cauliflower” appearance. Infections can be mild to severe; pain caused by pressure on the sole of the foot can be present in moderate to severe cases.

Prevention and Treatments:

Thorough washing with soap and drying of feet will help prevent infection and re-infection.

Good cleaning and sanitization practices on surfaces prone to hold the virus; this will help prevent infection and re-infection.

Wear protective shoes in public areas with high risk of holding the virus such as public showers, swimming pools, locker rooms, hotel bathrooms and carpets, etc.

Wear clean, dry shoes, socks, panty hose, etc.; remember that old footwear items must either be sanitized or discarded following an infection or re-infection may occur; do not share footwear.

Advanced foot care to reduce the wart using a surgical scalpel, followed by treatment with a prescription chemical agent to kill the virus. Further scalpel debridement follows treatment with the chemical agent to remove the involved tissue.

Important: never try removing a wart yourself with a razor blade or sharp instrument. Serious injury or infections can occur. See your Chiropodist for safe, effective wart treatment, especially if you have diabetes.

People with diabetes should never use off-the-shelf wart pads or solutions as they can cause skin damage which may lead to other more serious conditions.

Cushioning devices to offload pressure and pain warts on the surface of the sole.

Surgical removal of the wart during an in-office procedure.

Cryotherapy (freezing) of the affected area with liquid nitrogen.

Your Chiropodist can provide further footwear advice.