Plantar Warts: Diagnosis, Treatment & Prevention
Plantar warts are very painful. For runners, there is a litany of injuries that could derail workouts for days, weeks, and months. The repeated pounding on the pavement could lead to shin splints. A random stick or pine cone in the middle of the street could be the instigator of a sprained ankle. There are only so many runs your knees have in it before the cartilage will ask for some time off. Running might not be a contact sport with collisions but back and neck injuries are always in play.
To combat these common running injuries, athletes spend hours conditioning, preparing and gaining strength to ward off muscle and bone ailments. Successful injury prevention against these bigger issues makes a smaller, less debilitating ailment even more aggravating. One of those less severe, yet problematic medical issues that can take a runner down for an extended period of time is Plantar Warts.
In a cliché sense, a plantar wart can be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Or make that, the tiny circle that broke the runner’s stride. There is a high probability a runner or athlete will fall victim to plantar warts over the course of their active years. There are usually over 3 million cases of plantar warts reported each year in the United States. For information on quality cowritten by Eddy Mihai and curated by Diana Rangaves, PharmD, RPh, the following article will focus on plantar warts and make runners more familiar with the conditions that create Plantar Warts. It will also offer information on the symptoms, treatments, and preventive measures.
What is Plantar Warts?
In the global terminology, a wart is a skin infection triggered by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Abrasions, cuts or scrapes create an opening for the virus to enter the body. The infected area then begins to show a sign of a growing, emerging bump that becomes the wart. Warts can be painful and be unsightly; however, they are not cancerous growths or usually anything to have significant concerns over. Because warts are a byproduct of HPV, they are very contagious. Children tend to be the most susceptible to warts since they are often active and breaking their skin surfaces. The hands and fingers are the most common areas for warts to appear.
What distinguishes a plantar wart from other warts is its location. A plantar wart is one that grows on the sole/surface of the foot (plantar). Also, plantar warts grow into the skin, unlike other warts that emerge out of the skin. This growth pattern makes a plantar wart look more like a small hole in the foot with a hardened skin around it, not popping off the skin.
In medical terms, plantar warts are considered to be hyperkeratotic lesions growing on the plantar surface. Warts on the sole of the foot or heel are often referred to as verrucas. A grouping of verrucas is known as mosaic warts. The reason plantar warts look different than other round-like warts is the standing on and pounding of the feet forces the wart to flatten out and into the base of the skin layer.
A plantar wart can grow to as much as an inch in circumference.
A wart on the hand or top of the foot will likely not hamper a runner; unfortunately, a plantar wart on the sole of the foot that becomes irritated with every step makes it especially concerning for athletes.
Concerns with Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
For some readers, it may sound like a conundrum that warts are created by HPV but most of the HPV types are innocuous from a general medical perspective. In fact, there are many different types of the human papillomavirus, over 150 strains, and most of them are harmless, meaning that they usually resolve spontaneously, even without treatment. Most worries of HPV are associated with genital warts. There is a possibility that certain types of HPV infections lead to malign forms of cancer and such. For example, genital warts in women can lead to cervical cancer Therefore, it is imperative for women with genital warts to have them addressed by a physician. Same goes for any type of warts, for that matter – safety first.
Both men and women can feel the effects of genital warts – which is a sexually transmitted infection – but most of the most significant complications tend to involve females. Genital warts are a fairly common sexually transmitted infection with one estimate reporting nearly 360,000 cases per year.
Some high-risk HPV strains can persist and complicate into precancerous lesions in certain parts of the body such as the penis, vagina, vulva, cervix, mouth, and throat. Other high-risk strains can cause the so-called respiratory papillomatosis which is a Laryngeal HPV infection which causes potentially asphyxiating tumor growths.
The unprotected sexual intercourse of virtually any kind can spread the virus. Condom usage is strongly advised as a unilateral prevention method.
- During birth
Vertically transmitted infections, from mother to the embryo are highly possible.
- Direct skin-to-skin contact with a wart
Coming in direct contact with an infected area of warts will most likely transmit the disinfectant-resisting pathogen.
The majority of the HPV infections are cleared up by most individuals without medical attention or consequences.
Here are the clearance rates for high-risk (cancerous etc.) types of HPV:
Number of months after the initial positive test: 8; 12; 18;
% of patients tested negative: 70%; 80%; 100%;
Although the clearance rate might be higher for benign HPV infection, proper caution is needed for a number of weeks or months after successful treatment. Your doctor will guide and test you in this regard.
Other Types of Warts
This article’s main topic is plantar warts and runners, but still, there are other types of warts that we’re going to list and discuss. The common wart most often comes to mind when examining this issue. These are round and usually found on fingers, hands, feet, and toes. They look rough and create some skin discoloration in adjoining areas.
There are multiple types of warts that can be found on the head and face. One is a filiform wart that can appear around the nose, mouth, and chin. Filiform warts tend to be small and look like a skin tag. There are also flat warts that can grow on the face (and on arms and legs). These look similar to a scrape and can be discolored and look yellow, brownish or pinkish.
- Filiform wart is short, thread-like warts that appear on the face, back, belly, and are also called digitate warts. They’re benign and appear most commonly near the eyelids, lips, and back.
- Verruca Vulgaris, also known as Palmer or Junior wart is the most common type of wart, hence the Latin name Vulgaris which means common. It is a normally sized wart slightly raised with a roughened exterior and it’s either slightly lighter or darker than the surrounding skin. Most regularly on hands, but can develop anywhere.
- Verruca plana or flat wart is usually a smooth, flat, well-demarcated wart of 2-5 mm which doesn’t differ too much from the skin color and can also develop in fairly large numbers. Most regularly on the arms, neck, face, and knees.
- Verruca acuminata, Condyloma acuminatum, or Venereal wart is a genital wart that’s usually sexually transmitted, although not always, that can present the risk of cancer development. HPV types 6 and 11 are the most common underlying cause.
- Mosaic wart refers to a type of wart which normally develops in relatively tight grouped plantar-type warts on the soles or hands.
- Periungual warts are small warts that form around the nails in cluster formation that resemble a cauliflower. Nail biting will increase the probability of developing these warts. In the worst case scenario, the resulted infection can cause permanent nail deformity if it reaches the nail matrix.
- Verruca plantaris is a hard, sometimes painful plantar wart which sometimes presents black specks on top of them. They’re regularly developing on pressure points of the feet. Although this type of verruca is self-limited, treatment is recommended do lessen symptoms and prevent transmission.
Symptoms of a Plantar Warts
When the onset of a plantar wart first hits, the person will feel pain and see its initial appearance (a lesion) on the bottom of the foot or heel. With the pain, it will be a sharp, very directed ache on the bottom of the foot’s surface. It will feel like you are stepping on a sharp nail or stone. The pain is most apparent when on your feet, standing, walking or running. Prolonged time on the feet will exacerbate the pain.
As for the first visual symptom of a plantar wart, there will be tiny bumps arising from thickened skin on the bottom of the feet. The growths will often have black dots on them. The black dots are a result of enlarged blood vessels residing in the wart. Some in the medical community call the black dots “wart seeds.”
The black dots are what distinguish plantar warts from calluses. Both plantar warts and calluses will appear with thicken skin on the bottom of the feet and be painful to walk on at all times. The difference between them is a plantar wart hurts much more when squeezed (compared to a callus which won’t feel different) and the black dots within the affected area.
It is common to see the lesions appear at the base of the toes. Like calluses, warts near the toes may cause someone to initially think they have athlete’s foot.
Breakdown of Symptoms:
* Pain in heel or sole of the foot
* Pain will feel sharp or like having a stone in the shoe
* Skin at the point of the pain will look toughened
* A small hole will form and can be seen at the point of pain and features black dots
* Most painful when walking or running
* Pain can last for an extended period
Causes of Plantar Warts
Plantar warts, like all warts, are created by an infection of HPV that enters the skin through a crack, wound or scrape. Of the nearly 150 different kinds of HPV that exist, only a few will cause plantar warts.
The entrance of HPV into the skin will cause a reaction which ultimately forms a wart. When plantar warts are formed, the foreign bodies on the skin are referred to as verrucas. Many adults create immunity to the virus so these warts are common among children, teenagers or older adults that have a weakened immune system.
Still, the most active adults need to be aware of plantar warts. And if you tend to walk around barefoot, you are a prime candidate to come down with a case(s) of plantar warts.
The entry point on the skin that allows the HPV to enter the system does not need to be large or significant. The resulting verrucas can also be small and seem like just another callus that forms from friction within a shoe or sneaker. Nonetheless, a small plantar wart can be very painful and make walking, let alone, running a difficult task.
The formation of verrucas can take a long period of time, such as weeks or months during the incubation phase after the HPV enters the skin. Since plantar warts are viral infections, they are contagious, especially for athletes. The infection is commonly spread from the surface of floors, as in gym locker room floors, public showers (or the shower inside your own home) and on the deck of swimming pools. Basically, your favorite local gym can be a breeding ground for plantar warts and many athletic facilities have had outbreaks among their clientele. The virus does well living in moist and warm environments.
Walking barefoot in the martial arts or kickboxing room can bring someone in direct contact with the virus. Same issues inside the group exercise and yoga rooms, be it on the floor or on the mats you use to plank, do sit-ups or other similar exercises that bring your skin in direct contact with a surface that someone before you also used.
Sure walking around barefoot can be relaxing and liberating, but there are many scrapes on the bottom of your feet, those scrapes allow an entry point for the HPV and a good chance you could acquire plantar warts. If you have already had a case of plantar warts, you are a prime candidate to reacquire it in the future.
Diagnostic Practices for Plantar Warts
Since plantar warts are fairly common and not a major medical issue or injury – even though they are painful – someone can diagnosis a plantar wart by examining their feet. Sometimes self-diagnosis may lead to the wrong assumption about the thickened skin or lesions being either calluses, corns, moles or athlete’s foot. Understanding these differences will help a runner make the correct diagnosis and possibly treat without the use of a doctor. However, there are times a plantar wart should be examined by a medical professional.
The first step in the diagnosis process is to examine the skin on the bottom of the feet. One of the first ways to determine if it is a plantar wart is the appearance of the black dots or wart seeds inside the lesion area. The verrucas will look like it is growing into the skin, not on top of it.
If someone is unsure what exactly the infected area on the foot is or if the pain makes it difficult to do daily activities, then a doctor’s visit is in order. A general family physician and certainly a dermatologist or podiatrist will be able to put a diagnosis about a plantar wart in a short period of time after looking at the sole of the foot.
A doctor will ask how often the person goes around barefoot and if he/she often does so in communal places such as pools or gyms. Usually, those people suffering from plantar warts will have it looked at by a doctor if there is bleeding within the area or if it feels hot/painful and the skin changes color. This could result from the plantar wart becoming infected. Also, if the affected area spreads and multiple warts form, the person should go see a physician.
Those with existing immune issues, diabetes or poor blood circulation in the feet should see a doctor soon after the onset of pain in the sole and when first seeing the emergence of the wart.
Treatment of Plantar Warts
It is very likely a plantar wart will go away on its own and not merit any form of professional treatment. Once the plantar wart goes away on its own, it will not leave a scar. If treatment for a plantar wart is needed (especially if the pain is causing the person to change the way he/she walks or spreads around the foot), it can be done with home remedies, over the counter drugs or under the guidance of a physician.
Home remedies to remove a plantar wart – since warts have been around for centuries, there are a number of do-it-yourself techniques that have been shared by families. First and foremost, a person should never try to remove the verrucas with a sharp object while at home. This mistake could lead to further, much more serious complications.
- Tape occlusion – this home remedy is sometimes referred to as the “duct tape” method. In order to try this remedy, a piece of duct or adhesive tape about the same size as the wart should be cut and placed over the area. The tape should be placed over the wart for close to a week. Once that time passes, the tape piece should be removed and the foot should soak in warm water for close to 30 minutes. After the soaking, an emery board or pumice stone should be used to gently rub away the wart. There should be no sign of blood from rubbing it with an emery board or pumice stone. This method can be done for just 1-2 months – if it does not work, then medicine is needed. Some home remedies call for a clove of garlic, dandelion stem, vitamin A or an aspirin tablet to be placed over the wart when using tape occlusion.
A study conducted in 2002 reported that the duct tape therapy eradicated warts about 85 percent of the time, compared to a traditional medical treatment of applying liquid nitrogen, which was less successful on a rate of 60 percent of warts.
- Moleskin – it will not cure the plantar wart but a piece of moleskin with a hole in the middle like a doughnut placed over the wart will alleviate some of the pain. The moleskin acts as a buffer from the impacted skin and the sole of the shoe. The use of moleskin is important since it will make walking and to stand more bearable. An ancillary problem of plantar warts is how it forces someone to stand or walk differently. Posture changes because of a small pain in the foot could lead to other related muscle and bone issues.
Moleskin is available at drugstores and other major retail chains.
Over the counter treatment options – since you are already at the drugstore picking up some moleskin, there are other remedies nearby on the shelf.
The most common OTC option for plantar warts is salicylic acid. The acid can be placed over the wart by the use of a patch, gel or liquid. Don’t worry about the word acid and pain. Using salicylic acid is a painless option and is best used after the foot has been soaked in warm water and an emery board or pumice stone has been rubbed against the area. This method of soaking and use of salicylic acid should be done repeatedly and definitely prior to bed for at least a couple weeks. There are a number of different brands of salicylic acid, including a popular one made by Dr. Scholl’s.
More aggressive treatments – Under the supervision of a doctor, stronger acids can be placed upon plantar warts that are not cured by OTC salicylic acid. The doctor will shave part of the wart off and then apply trichloroacetic acid, or a stronger dose of salicylic acid, to the area. This use of stronger acid will require multiple treatments over a few weeks. This method often proves to be successful but will keep runners off the track or road for a while.
Other acid-like topical substances doctors use to burn off warts are Upton’s paste and Efudex. A doctor might try the exact opposite approach to burning and attempt to the freeze the wart off the foot. Cryotherapy is the use of liquid nitrogen to freeze the wart and kill off the tissue. The wart becomes darkened and will soon fall off the skin within days of the initial treatment.
The doctor applies the liquid nitrogen with either a spray or on a cotton swab directly on the wart. Since this treatment can be painful, a local numbing agent is used in the area prior to treatment. This process will happen multiple times over a two to four-week span.
Both the burning and freezing options are common treatments and effective. If they are unable to remove the wart, the next option is usually a laser treatment. Much like the acid, a pinpointed pulsed-dye laser cauterizes or burns closed the blood vessels at the point of the wart. The patient will face multiple times under the laser during a three to four-week stretch.
A patient must contemplate the use of lasers since it does come with some considerable pain and scarring and is expensive. Minor surgery is another, more detailed option to treat a plantar wart. With this method, an electric needle cuts away the wart from the skin. This also includes a local anesthetic and scarring.
Other less common options include giving an HPV vaccine and professional immune therapy. The latter treatment is based on the doctor injecting warts with an antigen to stimulate the immune system to fight the virus that creates warts.
Treatment for Genital Warts
While vaccines for benign plantar warts are not widely used, it is the best approach to treating the more severe genital warts. The vaccine Gardasil is given to both sexes since it is successful in combating genital warts and can protect against many of the HPV strains that lead to cervical cancer.
Men and women up to age 26 can receive a vaccine for HPV. In what is becoming a widely debated issue, children as young as 9 can be administered the vaccine. The reason for giving the vaccine to someone so young is that it is the most effective when given prior to sexual activity.
List of treatments and procedures
Cryotherapy or cryosurgery is a minimally invasive medical procedure with minimal side-effects such as pain, nerve damage, blisters, or scarring. The size and type of the wart determine the number of sessions required. Although liquid nitrogen is the most commonly deployed substance for this procedure, many other substances are used such as carbon dioxide, argon, and a mixture of dimethyl ether and propane. This type of procedure is only deployed in cases of benign and localized warts as it doesn’t usually cure certain types of the human papillomavirus (HPV) which can remain in a passive state and still be transmitted to others where it will manifest activity.
For genital warts, condom use is still necessary until the virus has been eradicated completely. It is also illegal to not inform your partner about any kind of sexually transmittable diseases you might have, so be careful!
- Duct tape or moleskin occlusion
Duct tape or moleskin occlusion therapy is not supported by concrete evidence, but the absence of side-effects, excluding skin irritation, make it a viable home remedy for common warts. It’s thought that the tape creates a macerating and keratolytic medium which stimulate the immune system and works against the wart formation. It’s recommended you visit your doctor before attempting to self-treat as certain warts can contain a high-risk HPV virus which can complicate into life-threating diseases such as cancer.
Also, keep in mind that even if warts disappear with this ad-hoc method, the virus is not completely cured and can be further transmitted. Exercise care.
Keratolysis literally means the destruction of keratin, the structural protein which forms the outer layer of the skin using salicylic acid, immunomodulators, blistering agents, or formaldehyde. And oftentimes, it’s used alongside a mechanical treatment of the skin with a pumice stone or similar abrasive material. The process requires a strict sterile cleaning method as to avoid infection. Although the procedure is low cost, it doesn’t always treat aggressive forms of HPV which can remain in a latent in the body and requires up to 12 weeks until local warts are removed.
Side-effects are rare, although people with other skin conditions such as dermatitis should pay attention to the various formulation substances in the cream or gel they intend to use. For example, collodion formulations are known to cause side-effect in dermatitis patients due to the containing rosin.
- Electrodesiccation and curettage
Electrodesiccation and curettage are used to treat many skin conditions from cancers to warts. It involves using a dull instrument called curette to scrape off the wart down to the dermis layer. Then, an electrosurgical device is used to denature a dermis layer, making way for another curettage procedure down to the living tissue of the skin. Usually, the cautery and electrodesiccation cycle is performed 3 times. The procedure is fast, done under local anesthetic without the use of sutures, and doesn’t cost too much.
For most types of warts, this procedure gives good outcomes with minimal scarring, but it isn’t a definitive cure for the papillomavirus itself which can remain latent and transmittable for some time after the procedure. Make sure to use condoms and inform your partners.
- Laser treatment
Laser treatment is a more expensive procedure which involves pulse dye or carbon dioxide lasers. The first one works by absorbing blood cells, the latter one absorbs water molecules from the skin. A local anesthetic is needed and a normal treatment cycle consists of 2 to 4 sessions with about two weeks in-between each session. The doctor’s skill and experience are thought to greatly influence the laser treatment’s success rate. It is safe for pregnant women and has a high success score.
The disadvantage is that it might weaken the local immune system and allow inactive viruses to reactivate and reoccur. Furthermore, like most HPV treatments, it doesn’t immediately kill the virus which can remain latent and transmittable. Use a condom for future sexual intercourses.
- Infrared coagulator
Infrared coagulator is a less expensive alternative to the laser therapy with virtually the same success rate. Although the procedure is used rarer than laser therapy, it works on basically the same laser principle but with a different action component: infrared light. It has been observed that it provides fewer side-effects such as blistering and scarring than the laser therapy with almost the same success rate. It might be more difficult to find a doctor willing to perform an infrared coagulation therapy, but it should be kept in mind as a valid wart treatment therapy. As all the aforementioned medical procedures, the virus is not completely destroyed after the intervention and can be further be transmitted, so exert caution.
- Microwave treatment
Microwave treatment consists of irradiating warts areas with electromagnetic microwaves. Some types of more aggressive HPV infections may require such an approach, but it’s rarely deployed due to the rare cases needing them.
Cauterization is a short-term for electrocautery and chemical cautery are two other somewhat high-tech procedures, consisting in electrically or chemically cauterizing unwanted warts. Although electrical and laser cauterization is preferred, chemical cauterization drugs such as Cantharidin can be just as effective.
Keep in mind that the virus might still survive in a latent form for some time after the treatment, pay attention for your safety and others’.
- Salicylic acid
Salicylic acid is a keratolytic solution belonging to the same class as aspirin, salicylates. The compound acts by denaturing the top skin layer and increasing humidity in the area, allowing the wart to slowly peel off. The solution should not be used on birthmarks, moles, warts with hair, or warts in the genital and anal area. Also, avoid inhaling the fumes, applying on irritated or infected skin and eyes. Apply a moderate quantity 1 or 2 times a day, for up to 2 weeks. Carefully read the package insert if you’re self-medicating and don’t forget that the HPV becomes latent but still transmittable after the complete removal of warts.
- Formic acid
Imiquimod is a topic cream for both benign and malignant genital and general warts. It’s a so-called immune response modifier which stimulates the immune system to defend itself from pre-cancerous and cancerous skin conditions. More precisely, regarding the human papillomavirus, the drug encourages the production of interferon (pathogen signaling proteins). Do not apply the cream on a non-healthy skin or inside cavities and eyes. The drug can be used 3 times a day, up for 16 weeks. Read the package leaflet and follow your doctor’s instructions.
Cantharidin is an organic substance produced by some species of blister beetles, used to chemically cauterize warts. It’s extremely toxic when ingested but safe when used topically. The substance causes dermal blistering of warts, as it would do to the beetle’s enemies. After letting the ointment act on the skin for about 1 hour, the area is washed with water and the skin is let to blister by itself, without pain, causing warts to disappear. Side-effects are rare, but the area is prone to infection. Adequate care is needed. Moreover, a quick reminder that the virus may still be present in latent form and transmittable, use proper precaution for the following period. Although it’s not approved by the FDA, Cantharidin-containing medicine can still be found in the US in select pharmacies. Ask your doctor about it and whatever you do, do not eat it!
Bleomycin is a large glycopeptide molecule produced by the Streptomyces verticillus bacteria, with antitumor, antiviral, and antibiotic proprieties used to treat different kinds of cancers, including HPV warts. The compound is very effective, but has some side-effects, especially in elder and pregnant people, including the more severe ones as anaphylaxis, necrosis of digits, Raynaud syndrome, lung scarring, and vomiting. Regular chest X-rays are strongly recommended throughout the administration which usually consists of a few shots.
Pain at the injection site is to be expected even after the anesthetic wears off. Because the drug destroys HPV’s DNA, it has one of the highest success rates of any HPV drug. Even so, precaution is to be exerted for some time after treatment conclusion as to not transmit any latent HPVs onwards.
Dinitrochlorobenzene or 2,4-Dinitrochlorobenzene, to be precise, is an organic aromatic nitro compound that’s used to treat warts by inducing an allergic immune response of the body. This immunotherapy drug has a big success rate of 80%, but the substance is known to cause genetic mutations and contact dermatitis, therefore, a doctor will usually administer the drug and monitor the patient throughout the treatment.
Caution is to be exerted afterward as to not transmit the possible remaining latent viruses.
Cidofovir is one of the least used drugs for treating HPV warts but can be effective in some cases. Even though it’s designed to respond to an HPV-infected larynx, a so-called laryngeal papillomatosis or recurrent respiratory papillomatosis. This antiviral drug is injected directly into the throat located larynx lessons, which inhibits the DNA of the virus to further replicate (DNA polymerase inhibitor).
Although these antiviral drugs will usually completely cure the patient, it is strongly advised that you practice precaution for a period even after the treatment has been completed to avoid transmission.
- Thuja Oil
The Western Red Cedar produces a substance harvested from the leaves or roots which can be used to remove genital warts and other benign types of warts by stimulating the immune system. It can be also somewhat irritative if not properly diluted. Treatment consists of daily topic use for two months.
- Tea Tree Oil
A fairly strong antimicrobial substance can be harvested from the Melaleuca or Ti-tree. It’s used topically and it may also strengthen the immunity.
Oftentimes called milkvetch and locoweed is a herbal ingredient that is found to stimulate the signal molecule interleukin-2, produced by gene p-53, responsible for signaling and activating immunity to white blood cells or leukocytes. It has anti-cancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral proprieties, usually taken orally.
Also known as orangeroot or yellow puccoon, is a plant from which it’s made a topical antiseptic and antiviral cream or gel for wounds and other winds of skin problems including various types of HPV warts. Produced for both ingestion and topic use.
This common vegetable is used for a vast array of diseases and conditions, including many types of HPV infections and warts – a natural “cure-it-all”. By both stimulating the immune system and having antibacterial proprieties when ingested, garlic can provides and unsuiting environment fro the wart when applied topically.
Some mon-prescribed HPV brands
- Warts No More
Warts No More is a plant and oil mixture for topical use against warts and genital warts. It works by producing helpful interferons which combat the virus.
- Immuno Boost
Immuno Boost is an all organic antiviral over-the-counter supplement provided by Forces of Nature company. All such similar products that contain turmeric, echinacea, lycopene, and propolis are seen to yield palpable results against HPV.
Wartrol is an organic homeopathic medicine which stimulates the immune system by releasing small amounts of passive papillomavirus into the body, signaling to the body the need to fight this pathogen.
Diet is an important factor when it comes to prevention, treatment, and manifestation of the HPV infection. Junk food with synthetically produced additives and such or excessive animal-derived products can favor the papillomavirus. One example of such a helpful biological pathway for the pathogen comes from increasing certain growth factor levels in the body which help the replication and proliferation of the viruses. Therefore, it’s recommended that you eat a diverse and calorie sufficient vegan, or at least, plant-based diet.
Proper hydration is also beneficiary towards a faster rehabilitation. Remember the 8*8 rule, meaning drinking 8 cups of 8 ounces of water, each, per day. That’s a total of 64 ounces or 2 liters of water each day. Getting enough sun and exercising can help in combating the virus.
Cruciferous Vegetables such as Cauliflower, Horseradish, Cauliflower, Bok choy, Cabbage, Mustard Greens, Collard greens, Brussels sprouts, Watercress, Horseradish, Broccoli, Turnips, Kale, Radishes, Arugula, Rutabaga, Wasabi, Watercress etc. These vegetables hold glucosinolates sulfur compounds which produce a certain type of cancer inhibitor called Indole-3-carbinol.
Folate or vitamin B-9 is extremely important in cancer and pathogen-fighting. It can be found in cereals, whole-wheat, liver, legumes such as asparagus, fruits such as oranges, cantaloupe, strawberries and seeds such as sunflower seeds.
Beta-Carotene is a form of vitamin A which the body needs it for anabolic and immunity reasons. It also contributes to a good vision. Abundant sources of beta-carotene include carrots. pumpkins, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cantaloupe, squash, lettuce, and tomatoes.
Antioxidants are found in fresh fruit and vegetables, they help fight cancer-causing free-radicals. Make sure you eat plenty of fruits and legumes to help boost your immunity system.
Quick steps towards immunization
- Step 1
Quit smoking cigarettes and similar damaging vices such as drinking. Smoking and similar vices will weaken your immune system and contribute to disease proliferation.
- Step 2
Supplement yourself with vitamins A, C, and E. These antioxidant vitamins are found in fruits and vegetables but consider supplementing for a quick boost.
- Step 3
Minimize all types of stress. Experiment with meditation and calming breathing techniques as stress both weakens the immunity system and contributes to pathogen proliferation.
- Step 4
Maintain a healthy weight through a vegan or plant-based diet and exercise constantly.
Preparing your doctor’s appointment
1. Prepare for your visit in advance.
Meaning keeping a symptoms evidence as well as dosages of the drugs your taking, recent circumstances, and so on. Self-analyze and write it down for future reference.
2. Explain your symptoms
Try to make as much sense as to the way your feeling. Present your doctor with a detailed list of your symptoms and lifestyle.
3. Know what medications you’re taking.
Know with exactly the types and dosages of the medication you’re currently taking, both herbal or synthetic. Furthermore, try to explain your lifestyle and recent activities to help identify the cause.
4. Be honest and detailed
Every patient is covered by the doctor-patient confidentiality clause. Tell him everything, don’t leave anything out as it may prove vital. Don’t be embarrassed when it comes to your health, your doctor has definitely heard it all. In addition, try to always keep an open mind when discussing treatment possibilities and such with your doctor.
Prevention of Plantar Warts
There are a number of ways to prevent plantar warts, but one is definitely the best and certainly the most cost-effective – don’t go barefoot. Of course, there are times you won’t wear anything on your feet, but limiting this time, especially when at the gym, will significantly reduce the chances of getting plantar warts. Still keep in mind there are ways to limit your chances of getting warts of any kind, however, there is no surefire of preventing them entirely. Consistent hand washing will help limit the spread of any germs or viruses.
For runners, protecting their feet against plantar warts should be just as important as defending against other foot ailments such as plantar fasciitis or heel spurs. There are some who extol the wonders of barefoot running. Well if this is you, then acquiring plantar warts are a risk you take with every run.
If you are in a public shower, pool, water park, locker room or group exercise room, it is vital to wear sandals or flip-flops. This keeps your feet, which are often cracked, away from the HPV or herpes living on a floor surface. Kids should not go barefoot during physical education classes at school. If it is an activity with no shoes, then the socks need to stay on the feet.
Sure Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, and the other major athletic shoe manufacturers offer flashy looking and expensive sandals, slides or slip-on. Those will look fashionable and keep your bare feet away from the gym or locker room floor – in turn limiting access to plantar warts. But, you are doing it an unnecessary premium. A pair of shower shoes can be purchased at a drug store or any of the major retailers for as little as $5. These inexpensive shoes will work just as well as the more costly options.
Also, it is imperative to keep feet dry and wear clean socks on a daily basis. If not, you are creating a prime piece of real estate for the HPV to reside. Children should not share socks or shoes with others. Parents should regularly check their children’s feet for any early signs of plantar warts.
Runners should work out in socks made of synthetic material to help wick away sweat and keep the feet dry. And, medicated foot powder made by the likes of Gold Bond, Dr. Scholl’s and Zeasorb should be in your gym bag right next to the deodorant and shampoo.
For those who already have plantar warts and are working out at the gym or the pool, they need to wear special socks or a waterproof plaster cover to protect others. If someone is using an emery board or pumice stone to wear down an existing plantar wart, those objects should not be used to file down the finger or toenails. Purchase a new emery board or pumice stone to use only for wart treatment.
It might sound obvious but do not touch or make contact with another person’s wart. This just becomes a quick route to transfer the HPV between two or more people. If you have to take care of a wart for a child or loved one, do so wearing rubber gloves.
If someone in the house does have a wart of any kind, attempt to keep clothing and towels separate from others in the residence. Family members might have different immunity to warts so it is not guaranteed everyone in the house will get warts like they might if it was the common cold being spread around. Still, to be safe, pay close attention to the clothing and surfaces others in the house will have contact with during the course of the day or night.
A person should not pick or scratch at any warts. Not only will this open the wart up for infection, it brings the virus out of the wart and more accessible to those who come into close contact with the person. Most warts will go away on their own over time, but if they become distributed by picking or with a razor, they could spread on that person’s body or to others. Also, infected warts can scar and leave a mark, when if left untouched they likely would not have any long-term effects.
Since warts are an issue (albeit a minor one) of the body’s immune function, there are certain natural herbs that can provide a boost. Echinacea is widely viewed as the best and safest immune-boosting herb. Elderberry, goldenseal, and licorice are other alternatives.
Also, a healthy diet, in general, can only be an asset to one’s immunity system.
Prevention of Genital Warts
Since genital warts are a sexually transmitted infection, condom usage is necessary for this type of protection. There is no guarantee that condoms will be complete protect against genital warts, they are more of a way of reducing the risk.
Plantar warts are small and rather innocuous ailments, but they can cause enough pain to keep you off your feet. If you are a runner or a regular gym-goer, it is highly probable that you will become exposed to HPV in the feet and contract a plantar wart. Once you get it, it is likely it will happen again.
- Be smart and limit your time in bare feet, especially at the gym and pool. Limiting access to surfaces where others have been in contact with will help ward off plantar warts.
- It might not be the injury you tell war stories about with your running group, but it will limit your time on your feet. A plantar wart is that painful.
- For runners that can deal with the pain or can’t let any ailment take them off their regular workout routine, a soft sole and flexible sneaker will limit the amount of hard pounding on the plantar wart. No matter what though, if you run with a plantar wart, you will feel it.
- With the information presented in this article, you should be able to identify the symptoms of plantar warts and prevent it from festering into a serious injury.
- Keep your sandals or flip-flops on so you can keep on running!
Co-written by Eddy Mihai
Curated by Diana Rangaves, PharmD, RPh
Some of the Sources Used while Conducting our Research
These are the sources cited in this article with additional information on plantar warts. While these are reputable sources with information from medical professionals, you should not take the information in this article as professional medical advice. Consult a doctor before trying anything listed in this article.
- Plantar Warts, Cleveland Clinic, May 18, 2017 ,
- Verrucas – symptoms, treatment and prevention, WebMD, May 20, 2017 ,
- Plantar Warts, Mayo Clinic, May 20, 2017 ,
- 24 Home Remedies for Warts, How Stuff Works, May 23, 2017 ,
- Plantar Warts, Sage Journals, May 24, 2017 ,
- Plantar Warts and Palmer Warts, Web MD, May 19, 2017 ,
- Plantar Warts, eMedicine Health, May 18, 2017 ,
- Plantar Warts Removal, Dr. Scholl's, May 16, 2017 ,
- Plantar Warts, Runner's World, Apr 22, 2019 ,
- Hazards of Barefootery: The Plantar Wart! , Another Runner, Apr 22, 2019 ,