21 Apr
A painful wart under the 5th metatarsal

A painful wart under the 5th metatarsal


Do you have any painful foot warts (Verruca)?

A wart on you foot may case prolonged pain while under pressure. A plantar wart is no different than a wart on any other part of the body. These warts eventually go away by themselves, but they are potentially contagious and could stay around for a couple years. Treatment is usually recommended to decrease the length of pain, the duration of pain and to decrease the chance of transferring it to other parts of the body.

What causes a foot wart?
– HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) is the cause of warts.
– The virus can stay alive for many weeks without a host ,especially in the shower!
– The wart enters through microscopic cracks in the skin of the foot or the fingers.
– If a cluster of warts forms, it is called a Mosaic wart which can create extremely large surface areas.
– It is completely normal to get a wart – most warts occur in 12-16 year old children, but are very rare in older age.

Symptoms of a  foot wart:
Not usually painful although may be tender when pressed, especially from the sides.
The verruca may feel like a small stone under the foot.
It looks different from a callus because of little red pin like dots- a callus looks like normal but thicker skin.
There is usually a callus that forms around the wart.

How to diagnose a foot wart?
– Verrucas vary in size from a 1mm to over 1 cm and may vary in shape too.
– The surface of the verruca is usually covered with small black dots (blood vessels).
– They are usually surrounded by hard skin.
– There is usually nothing ever really tricky about diagnosing a wart.
– If the wart is really large then it is a more resistant mosaic wart that needs more attention.

How to prevent a foot wart?
– Warts and verrucas are very common and nothing to get worked up about (especially ages 12-16 years old), although they should be treated as they are mildly contagious.
– They are only passed on via direct skin to skin contact and can be passed to other people or to other areas of your body (although this is more common when warts appear on the fingers).
– There is a higher risk of passing a verruca  if the skin is damaged or wet.
– Swimming pools are common infection area for verrucas.
– To avoid passing on a verruca, make sure it is covered when you go swimming (either buy a waterproof plaster, duct tape or special verruca sock), wear flip flops when walking barefoot and in the shower and don’t share towels.

For information how to treat foot wart at home or when you should see a podiatrist see this link.

Wart free feet are necessity for all runners, so check you feet regularly!


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