Is It Just a Plantar Wart or Just a Callus?

One common complaint that brings patients into our office is an area of thick skin on the bottom of their feet. Sometimes it is painful, but it does not necessarily have to be. If it has been there for a while, patients tend to ignore it or try to get rid of it on their own by using over-the-counter callus removers which are pads that contain acid. Typically they do not get rid of the issue and if anything can make the condition worse. 

In general, calluses are thick skin that develops over body provenances and are caused by friction or shear forces. They can be removed by simply shaving the skin off or rubbing the area with a pumice stone or emery board. Warts can be differentiated by a trained physician from a callus by demonstrating certain characteristics. For example, the skin lines in your foot, like what makes up your fingerprint, will go through a callus and around a wart. Also, warts commonly have what is called petechial bleeding which resembles small black dots. 

If you are experiencing either of these conditions and are unsure if it is a wart or callus, it is advised to have this evaluated by one of our physicians. If it is a wart, which is a virus, it can spread or grow deeper into the skin, making it more difficult to treat. 

In our office, we have several treatment options, including topical remedies like acid, Cantharone, or prescription medication like 5 fluorouracil. Injections with Bleomycin have been found to be very effective. Removing the wart with laser surgery is also a great option that we offer in our office as well.

Please call us to schedule an evaluation with one of our providers for more information. 

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