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Foot & Ankle Center of Iowa

Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Ankeny serving greater Des Moines, IA

Warts aren’t just ugly –– depending on their location, they can also make standing or walking for extended periods of time painful. Expert podiatrists Paul Dayton, DPM, MS, and Mindi Dayton, DPM, MHA, at Foot & Ankle Center of Iowa in Ankeny, Iowa, regularly work with people of all ages to treat and eradicate warts. If you’ve tried various over-the-counter methods without any improvement, request an appointment today by calling the office or clicking the online scheduling tool.

Warts Q & A

What are warts?

Warts are small, fleshy bumps that appear on weight-bearing areas, such as the heels and balls of your feet. The pressure caused by standing and walking causes warts to grow inward, resulting in a hard, thickened layer of skin, or callus.

The human papillomavirus (HPV) causes warts. The virus enters your body through small cuts or cracks in your skin and spreads. Warts usually aren’t a serious health problem, but they can negatively affect your quality of life. If you’ve tried over-the-counter treatments without an improvement in your symptoms, request an appointment at Foot & Ankle Center of Iowa today.

What are the symptoms of warts?

The symptoms of warts vary from person to person and depend on their location and size. Telltale signs of warts include:

  • Hard, thickened skin
  • Small, rough, or bumpy growths
  • Pain when walking or standing
  • Tenderness when walking or standing

If you have warts, you might also notice a black dot or “seed” in the middle. This spot is actually a group of clotted vessels that provide the wart with blood and oxygen.

Who is at risk of warts?

Anyone can experience warts, but there are certain factors that may increase your risk, including:

  • Being a child or teenager
  • Having a weakened immune system
  • Having a history of warts
  • Walking barefoot

You’re also more likely to experience warts if you regularly spend time in public facilities such as locker rooms or saunas. HPV thrives in warm, damp conditions.

Is there any way to prevent warts?

There’s no way to prevent warts entirely, but you can significantly lower your risk by practicing good hygiene. The team at Foot & Ankle Center of Iowa recommends:

  • Keeping your feet clean
  • Keeping your feet dry
  • Avoiding direct contact with your warts
  • Not picking at or scratching your warts

You should also avoid walking barefoot at swimming pools and/or locker rooms. Instead, wear flip-flops or sandals to protect your feet.

How are warts diagnosed?

To diagnose warts, your Foot & Ankle Center of Iowa provider physically examines your feet and toes and asks you questions about your symptoms. Your doctor also observes each lesion and if necessary, might take a small biopsy for further testing.

How are warts treated?

Treatment for warts depends on their size, severity, and location. Most people respond well to in-office peeling treatments with salicylic acid or cryotherapy. If your warts persist or return after treatment, your provider might recommend immunotherapy, laser treatment, or minor surgery to remove the wart altogether.

Request your wart appointment at Foot & Ankle Center of Iowa today by calling the office or clicking the online scheduling tool.