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.
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 may be performed to rule out certain types of skin cancer which may have a similar appearance. Warts can easily be spread from one person to another, and 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 most likely to be 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.
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 prescription topical medicines or cryotherapy, a freezing technique that uses liquid nitrogen to destroy the virus that causes warts. Cryotherapy can also help stimulate the immune system so it's more effective in fighting off the virus. In some cases, laser treatment or electrocautery may be used to burn away warts.
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