Plantar conditions, whether they are warts or plantar keratosis or planter corns, can become painful and annoying if left untreated. Often these conditions can appear without warning, slowly but surely growing on the foot surface and becoming more and more problematic by the day. With plantar conditions there can be many guilty factors. A certain gait, wearing ill-fitting shoes, being a runner, and others are among some of the reasons people develop some of the following conditions.
Conditions such as intractable plantar keratosis, plantar warts, and plantar corns might share similarities. However, the most important thing to consider is that how these conditions are treated varies greatly. Whereas intractable plantar keratosis can be treated with topical agents and padding, plantar warts may require cryotherapy or even excision for quicker results. In the same way, plantar corns might require a small surgery in order to get rid of the problem. The following are some plantar conditions and how they are treated.
Intractable Plantar Keratosis
Intractable Plantar Keratosis is a condition that can become very painful if not treated properly. This condition occurs when the corneal of the epidermis thickens, causing pain. Usually treated by excising the tissue, it usually grows back. Developing under the metatarsals, lesions called hyperkeratotic, which resemble corns within calluses appear. They can wreak havoc on a patient’s foot. Some of the most common treatments include debridement of the lesion and using accommodative padding and topical keratolytic agents.
Before considering options like surgery, patients can opt to follow one of the aforementioned treatments. Patients can also use accommodative padding to help transfer the pressure away from the metatarsal head that is being affected with pain. Using elements such as stiff-soled shoes and engaging in activities such as stretching (dorsiflex bracing for an hour each day) can also help in the treatment of this condition.
Plantar Warts or Verruca
Plantar warts are caused when the human papilloma virus (HPV) comes into contact with a small cut on the feet, especially the plantar area of the foot. As HPV enters the body, it infects the area and causes a wart. Warts can be identified by their rough, callus-like texture and appearance. Plantar warts can either be solitary warts or mosaic warts, which occur in clusters. Usually warts are not harmful to patients.
However, plantar warts can cause pain and discomfort, which is why many patients seek treatment for them. If patients have tried treating the wart on their own with little to no success, or if the wart is interfering with day to day activities, then it is time to go see a specialist. Some of the treatments include using topical treatments, oral treatments, and cryotherapy. This last one is very popular. The wart is essentially exposed to freezing temperatures, which in turn will cause it to fall off. If patients desire faster results, another option is to have a wart excision. A small incision is made, and the wart is removed.
Plantar corns are caused by bone spurs, and as a result, they cannot be treated with cryotherapy or trimming. These corns happen when skin in the plantar fascia becomes thick as a result of prolonged stress and pressure on the area. The lesions can feel like walking on a pebble because the skin becomes very thick and tough. It grows inward in the shape of a pyramid. Usually not a problem at first, plantar corns can become annoying when they start causing pain as patients complain about pain when walking, for example.
Common treatments for plantar corns include using gel pads to soften the impact on the plantar corn and using pumice stones to scrape off the outermost layers of the corn. The best treatment, however, is a 15 minute long condylectomy—a bone spur removal. This procedure is quick and will allow the patient to walk out the same day. Treatment will depend on the diagnosis. But if a bone spur is causing the plantar corns, then a condylectomy will be the best treatment option available.
In conclusion, these conditions should be taken seriously and treatment for plantar warts, plantar keratosis and plantar corns should be requested. Some of them can cause much pain if left untreated. Plantar corns especially can become a debilitating source of pain for patients and interfere with their ordinary lives and activities. Go ahead and make an appointment with your podiatry specialist to diagnose those annoying plantar problems.