Warts are the result of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and contrary to popular belief, can be spread by direct contact. Stemming from a viral infection in the top layer of the skin, warts can also be spread in damp environments, like locker rooms or pool areas, where infected skin cells may be present. Some people are fully immune to warts while others with pre-existing conditions are more likely to experience warts, which can occur on any part of the body.
Plantar warts, which are warts on the bottom of the foot, do not protrude like common warts because of the pressure caused by walking and footwear. However, they can be quite painful, especially if a specific movement applies direct pressure. Athletes who suffer a plantar wart may feel shooting pain as they land on it after a jump or while running. Thus, it is critical athletes have them examined and treated as soon as possible upon onset.
Children and teenagers are more apt to contract one of the HPV subtypes that cause warts, which are 1, 2, 4, 27 and 57.
Warts can actually be tricky to identify for the non-cognoscente. There seems to be a fair amount of confusion at times between warts, calluses, corns and even carcinomas and melanomas. Thus, we strongly recommend that any sort of vague growth that appears on your body be examined by a professional as soon as possible.
Despite the potential for mis-identification, most warts form themselves in such a way as to make locating one fairly easily. They tend to be clearly defined. That is, it’s easy to make out a firm line around its base if protruding from your hand, for example. Plantar warts, because they’re flat and gray, may look like a callus. However, if you see small black dots or specks in the center, it’s a wart. These spots are actually evidence of blood in the wart and serve as their most prominent differentiator.
Also, warts can become sizable and as a result, unattractive. It is best to get them treated as soon as possible to prevent their growth and of course, their ability to spread to friends and family members.