A wart, or verruca, is a small bump on the skin caused by a virus
that infects the top layer of skin cells. Warts are believed to
be transmitted through direct or indirect contact (via a gym or
shower floor) with a person carrying the virus. This virus, called
human papilloma virus (HPV), is easier to "catch" if
there is a cut or an abrasion on the skin.
Plantar warts occur on the bottoms of the feet. They frequently
are studded with pinpoint dark spots, which are tiny, clotted
blood vessels. When they occur on portions of the feet that bear
weight, they are flattened by the weight placed on them, and can
be quite painful. They can be confused with corns; however, corns
lack surface pinpoint dark spots.
Symptoms: Rough or "warty" bumps that are skin-colored,
white, tan, or pink; typically pea-sized or smaller; pain in warts
that occur on weight-bearing portions of the feet.
Treatment: A podiatrist can remove a common wart by freezing
it with liquid nitrogen, by using laser vaporization, or by surgically
removing it in a procedure called curettage and electrodesiccation.
Your doctor should explain that no single treatment is guaranteed
to work, and a given form of treatment may need to be repeated
several times. Unfortunately, the wart virus can be very resistant
to therapy. Even after an apparent complete cure, it may pop up
again in the same spot years later.
Warts do not necessarily require treatment. They are neither
cancerous nor precancerous. About one-half to two-thirds of all
warts disappear spontaneously within 1 to 2 years without any
therapy. However, warts can be treated by a doctor to alleviate
pain and to prevent them from spreading to other areas of the
body and to other individuals.
Prognosis: Because existing warts shed virus, new warts can surface
nearby, even as others are vanishing. Unfortunately, warts can
be a recurring, chronic problem for some people.
Corns And Callus
WHAT ARE CORNS AND CALLOUSES?
Corns and callouses are both similar in that the extra skin forms
in response to pressure on the skin. In the case of corns, the extra
skin forms between the toes. In the case of callouses, the extra
skin forms on the outside of the foot. Corns are usually from the
knuckle joints on one toe pressing on the knuckle joint on the adjacent
toe. Usually, a seed or central nucleus is seen when examining the
corn. Callouses occur due to many causes but the most common cause
is incorrect padding in the shoes, flat feet, a bone spur and hammertoes.
In rare instances, the painful callouses is an abnormal sweat gland
that has become impacted with hard skin and the small nerve going
to the sweat gland becomes painful. The names given to corns and
callouses by doctors are numerous based on where the corn is occurring
and how the skin is forming the callous or corn.