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Warts Specialist

The Foot Care Group

Podiatrist located in North Suburbs, Libertyville, IL & Western Suburbs, Hinsdale, IL

Warts are caused by deep-rooted viral infections that require professional care. At The Foot Care Group, board-certified podiatrist Steven Sharlin, DPM, uses state-of-the-art methods to get rid of plantar and palmar warts, destroying the virus that causes them, so they won't recur. Call the practice’s offices in Hinsdale, Libertyville, and the Streeterville area of Chicago, Illinois, or book your appointment online today.

Warts Q & A

What causes warts?

Warts are caused by viruses that enter the skin and multiply, causing infections. The virus enters the skin through a tiny cut or abrasion. Warts can occur in many areas of the body, including between the toes and on the bottoms of the feet.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) has more than 150 strains, many of which cause warts on the hands and feet. HPV leads to a buildup of keratin, a dense type of protein, that causes warts.

What are plantar warts?

Plantar warts form on the bottom of the foot and between the toes, causing pain and sometimes bleeding. In most cases, plantar warts can be diagnosed with a physical examination of the foot, but sometimes, a small tissue sample called a biopsy might be performed to rule out certain types of skin cancer that may have a similar appearance. 

Warts can easily be spread from one person to another. Wearing shoes or socks or using towels belonging to a person infected with plantar warts is one way to “catch” warts and spread the infection. 

Warts can also be contracted by walking barefoot in areas where the virus is often present, including damp areas like gym locker rooms and public pools. Plantar warts can be quite painful, especially when wearing shoes. They're also more common among people with diabetes or other diseases that affect circulation as well as people with compromised immune systems.

What are palmar warts?

Palmar warts are warts that appear on the palms of your hands. They typically have tiny black dots in the center of the wart from clotted blood vessels. Because you aren’t walking on palmar warts as you do with plantar warts, they’re usually less grainy and hard.

Typically the size of a pea, palmar warts can be uncomfortable, especially if you pick them. Sometimes, palmar warts can form on your hands after picking at a plantar wart on your foot.

How are warts treated?

Because warts are rooted in deeper layers of tissue where the virus can be difficult to reach, over-the-counter products and “home remedies” are rarely effective in eradicating the virus that causes warts. To get rid of a wart, professional care is necessary. 

Different methods are available to treat warts, including using applications of topical prescription medicines or cryotherapy, a freezing technique that uses liquid nitrogen to destroy the virus that causes warts. 

Because palmar warts typically aren’t callused, they respond well to cryotherapy and prescription topical treatments. Plantar warts are sometimes more difficult to treat if they’re covered by a thick, callused layer of skin. Dr. Sharlin may need to perform a surgical procedure to expose and remove the wart.

To learn more, call The Foot Care Group or schedule an appointment online today.