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A plantar wart (also verruca plantaris or verruca) is a wart caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). It is a small lesion that appears on the sole of the foot (hence the name, from Latin planta pedis, the sole of the foot) and typically resembles a cauliflower. A plantar wart may have small black specks within it that ooze blood when the surface is cut or shaved; these are abnormal capillaries. Though the name plantar wart describes specifically HPV infection on the sole of the foot, infection by the virus is possible anywhere on the body and common especially on the palm of the hand, where the appearance of the wart is often exactly as described above for plantar warts.
Additional recommended knowledge
Infection and development
Human papilloma virus can be found on walking surfaces such as showers, swimming pools, or shoes. It is spread through contact, with the virus invading the skin through possibly tiny cuts and abrasions. After infection, warts may not become visible for several weeks or months. Because of pressure on the sole of the foot, the wart is pushed inward and a layer of hard skin may form over the wart. A plantar wart might be painful.
Warts may spread, develop into clusters or fuse to become a mosaic wart.
Common symptoms of plantar warts include tiny black dots on the surface, pinpoint bleeding when they are scratched, and pain in the soles of the feet when standing or walking.
Plantar warts are often similar to helomata or corns, but can be differentiated by close observation of skin striations. Feet are covered in skin striae, which are more commonly called fingerprints. Skin striae go around plantar warts; if the lesion is not a plantar wart, the cells' DNA is not altered and the striations continue across the top layer of the skin. Plantar warts tend to be painful on application of pressure from either side of the lesion rather than direct pressure, unlike helomata (which tend to be painful on direct pressure instead).
Humans build immunity with age, so that infection is less common amongst adults than children.
No treatment in common use is 100% effective. The most comprehensive medical review found that no treatment method was more than 73% effective and using a placebo had a 27% average success rate. The American Family Physician recommends:
Although immunization is available for the HPV and strains causing cervical cancer and venereal warts, there is currently no vaccination treatment for plantar warts.
Relative effectiveness of treatments
A 2006 study assessed the effects of different local treatments for cutaneous, non-genital warts in healthy people. The study reviewed 60 randomized clinical trials dating up to March 2005. The main findings were:
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Plantar_wart". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|