Plantar wart refers to a wart that forms on the foot caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).
A plantar wart appears on the sole of the foot as a small cauliflower-shaped lesion. There is a central dark spot in the lesion that is in fact a petechial hemorrhage. Scratching of the may result in bleeding. Upon standing or walking, pain is felt at the site of the wart.
In case of plantar warts, the striations of the feet go around the lesion of the wart. On the other hand, in the case of calluses, the striations run straight across the top layer of the skin, even over the lesion.
The prognosis of the patients suffering from plantar warts is excellent. In up to 27% of the patients, the disease may resolve on its own without any treatment. In the rest, medical and surgical treatment is associated with a very good cure rate and the patients do not suffer from long term nuisance because of these warts.
The causative agent of plantar warts is a virus known as the human papilloma virus (HPV) . There are more than a hundred types of this virus. Out of them, the types that commonly lead to the development of plantar warts include types 1, 2, 4, 60 and 63 . Rarely, plantar warts may be caused by types 57, 65, 66 and 156.
Infection occurs when the virus invades the compromised portions of the skin through direct contact. This may occur when a person with cuts or abrasions walks on moist surfaces such as near showers or swimming pools.
This infection is uncommon in people who always walk barefoot since the soles of such people’s feet become hard and crusty. As shown by a survey in China and India, there is only a 0.29% incidence of plantar warts in people who walk barefoot .
Plantar warts affect around 7 to 10% of the population in the United States. Males and females are affected equally; however, genetic and racial factors play a predisposing role. Certain researches indicate that warts occur two times more commonly in blacks as compared to whites .
The invasion and infection of the human papilloma virus in the plantar skin triggers a series of changes that leads to the formation of warts. The exact mechanism of these changes is not very clear; however, it is known to be due to an immune response to the virus.
The primary changes that occur consist of the thickening of several of layers of the skin including the stratum corneum (by deposition of excess of keratin), stratum spinosum and stratum granulosum, as well as elongation of the rete ridges.
Warts are small, rough growths that develop on the skin. Plantar warts refer to those warts that form on the foot, primarily on the sole. Warts have multifactorial etiology; however, plantar warts in particular are caused by human papilloma virus. Several strains of this virus can cause the development of plantar warts.
The disease is self-limiting and requires only conservative treatment. Complicated cases that fail to respond to conservative treatment may require minor surgical intervention.
Warts that form on the sole of the foot are known as plantar warts. They may have a rough, cauliflower like shape or may resemble a blister. They are formed as a result of infection with several strains of a virus known as human papilloma virus.
Plantar warts often heal on their own and require very limited treatment. Cases that do not heal despite proper treatment may require some minor surgery for the removal of the wart.