Warts: Dealing with Bumpy Skin Growths

Often depicted on the faces of witches or blamed on contamination from toads, warts are a common, unsightly skin problem. Many kids and teens end up with the growths at one point or another, and then must try to figure out how to eliminate the uncomfortable spots. Fortunately, you don’t have suffer with these lesions—there are ways you can eradicate them.

Bumpy Viruses

Warts are actually viruses that enter the skin and cause a noncancerous growth to develop. The virus is quite contagious and can pass easily from the wart itself to the surfaces it touches, including floors, towels, and other people. The virus that causes the issue thrives in warm, damp places, so public areas like pools or locker rooms can expose you to the pathogen. Once the culprit has entered your body through a tiny cut or break in your skin, it causes bumps to develop.

These bumps can appear anywhere on the surface of the skin, though the feet are particularly vulnerable since they’re constantly in contact with the ground. The small, fleshy lesions may appear to be areas of built-up dead skin. They usually have well-defined boundaries and may be discolored, usually grey or light brown. Plantar warts, or lesions on the soles of your feet, are usually flattened by your body weight. Sometimes they appear to have black spots inside them. These growths are relatively harmless, but pressing on them can be quite uncomfortable.

Tricks for Eliminating the Pathogen

Warts may resolve on their own after a few years, as your body learns to fight off the pathogen. However, if your lesion is uncomfortable or keeps spreading to other areas of your feet, don’t ignore the problem. Our team here at NorthPointe Foot & Ankle can help you address the growth and remedy it. We will need to thoroughly examine the spot to rule out other possible skin growths, some of which are more serious. Once the condition has been properly diagnosed, we can help you begin treatment.

A variety of options are available. Cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen to super-freeze the infected tissue, killing the growth. Cantharidin is an extract from a blister beetle that is often paired with an acid. This is applied to the lesion and then covered with a bandage. The medication creates a blister, eliminating the virus and allowing the skin to heal over. Immunotherapy uses prescription medications or injections to stimulate your body’s natural immune response. That way, the system attacks the invading pathogen in the lesion more quickly. If the wart doesn’t shrink on its own, it may need to be excised from the foot in a minor procedure.

Some home remedies have worked for people as well. Many times, however, the virus is stronger than the natural options that are available. Over-the-counter remedies may damage the skin around the wart if not applied correctly, too. If you have a pre-existing condition like diabetes that weakens your immune system, your recovery needs to be monitored to prevent additional infections that could cause problems for your feet. However you choose to address them, you need to do so carefully and with monitoring from our specialists.

Warts are uncomfortable and unsightly growths on your feet that can make it painful for you to walk around. They can also spread between feet or toes, or even to your loved ones, if you aren’t careful. You don’t have to suffer with the lesions until they disappear on their own, though. Remedies for these skin growths have been very successful for many people. If you noticed a strange bump on your skin, let NorthPointe Foot & Ankle take care of your feet. You can reach our Berkley, MI, office by calling (248) 545-0100 or using our website request page.