Plantar warts are mostly seen on the skin, as small growths. The common sites are the heels or other weight-bearing areas of the feet. Pressure or bearing weight can cause plantar warts to grow inward beneath a hard, thick layer of skin called callus. Plantar warts are the infected growths by Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). The virus enters the body through tiny cuts, breaks or other weak spots on the bottom of the feet.
In most cases, they aren’t a serious concern and usually relieve on their own over time. In severe cases with serious discomforts, they can be removed.
Signs & symptoms
- A small, fleshy, rough, grainy growth or lesion on the sole of the foot, usually the base of the toes or heel
- Hard, thickened skin (callus) over a well-defined “spot” on the skin, where a wart has grown inward
- Black pinpoints, which are commonly called wart seeds but are actually small, clotted blood vessels
- A lesion that interrupts the normal lines and ridges in the skin of foot
- Pain or tenderness when walking or standing
Plantar warts are caused by an infection with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which enters the body through tiny cuts, breaks or other weak spots on the bottoms of the feet.
Human papillomavirus is a common strain which can survive months to years on surfaces. Infection of a host requires direct contact with viral particles, which can occur through either direct contact via a plantar wart or indirect contact via fomites, such as flooring, socks, shoes, towels, and sports equipment. There is no systemic dissemination or viraemic phase to HPV infection. Any contact with body fluids, except those directly from the plantar wart itself, is not proven to transmit HPV yet. Pre-existing microtrauma of the epidermal barrier of the plantar aspect of the foot allows entry of the virus on contact. Once in contact with a host, HPV enters the basal epithelium, where actively dividing stem cells are located. There, the virus binds with cellular receptors and is subsequently taken up by the now-infected cell. After an incubation period of 1 to 20 months, viral DNA is then established within the host cell, usually without integration into the host cell genome.
If an infection with HPV occurs, there are 3 possible chances:
Clearance of the infection with resultant immunity to that particular HPV type
Clinically manifested infection as a plantar wart.
Once infected without clearance, the host basal keratinocyte is stimulated to divide and replicate viral DNA via HPV E1 and E2 proteins. This process produces numerous stem cells with viral DNA. The basal stem cells contain very low levels of viral proteins, which enhances the virus’s ability to evade the host’s immune response. As the basal cells undergo normal differentiation into keratinocytes, they progress towards the outer surface of the epithelium. At the same time, the viral genome promoter region is activated, leading to increased production of viral proteins that enhance HPV genome amplification within each differentiating cell. It is thought that E5, a membrane protein produced via the viral DNA template, serves to enhance signaling from growth factor, which in turn maintains the cell’s capacity for DNA replication. Once viral DNA copies are sufficient, L1 and L2 viral coat proteins are expressed by surface keratinocytes. Protein E2 recruits viral DNA copies to the host cell nucleus, where the viral DNA is packaged into capsids composed of proteins L1 and L2. The infectious viral particles can then be released in high numbers from desquamated keratinocytes on the surface of the plantar wart to infect other sites or hosts.
- Examining the lesion
- Tearing the lesion with a scalpel and checking for signs of dark, pinpoint dots — tiny clotted blood vessels
- Removing a small section of the lesion (shave biopsy) and sending it to a laboratory for analysis
Most plantar warts are harmless and go away without treatment, though it may take a year or two. If the warts are painful or spreading, treatment is needed such as:
Stronger peeling medicine (salicylic acid).
Freezing medicine (cryotherapy).
Surgical or other procedures
If salicylic acid and freezing medicine don’t work, the following treatments can be done:
- Other acids like trichloroacetic acid
- Immune therapy.
- Minor surgery – by using an electric needle (electrodesiccation and curettage).
- Laser treatment.
Most plantar warts are harmless and go away without treatment, though it may take a year or two.
Normal posture or gait can be altered due to pain caused by pressure on warts. This change can cause muscle or joint discomfort.
Disease & Ayurveda
Not mentioned separately.
Causative factors of kushtha can cause the same
Vitiated doshas are Vyaanavaayu and Kapha
When the vitiated Vyaanavaayu taking along the Kapha dosha gets lodged in skin, it causes rough, firm & hard skin lesion externally resembling a nail.
A chronic black/skin-coloured lesion which is rough & hard on touch, elevated, and resembling a nail.
Lepanam with Rookshana dravyas
Then treatment of wound should be done
Commonly used medicines
- Non-prescription wart removal products are available as a patch or liquid containing peeling medicine (salicylic acid).
- Freezing medicine (cryotherapy) include Compound W Freeze Off and Dr. Scholl’s Freeze Away.
- Application of duct tape
- To be avoided
Heavy meals and difficult to digest foods – cause indigestion.
Junk foods- cause disturbance in digestion and reduces the bioavailability of the medicine
Carbonated drinks – makes the stomach more acidic and disturbed digestion
Refrigerated and frozen foods – causes weak and sluggish digestion by weakening Agni (digestive fire)
Milk and milk products – increase kapha, cause obstruction in channels and obesity
Curd – causes vidaaha and thereby many other diseases
- To be added
Light meals and easily digestible foods
Green gram, soups, sesame oil. Fresh fruits and vegetables
Freshly cooked and warm food processed with cumin seeds, ginger, black pepper, ajwain etc
Protect yourself from cold climate.
Better to avoid exposure to excessive sunlight wind rain or dust.
Maintain a regular food and sleep schedule.
Avoid holding or forcing the urges like urine, faeces, cough, sneeze etc.
Avoid sedentary lifestyle. Be active.
Avoid walking on rough & uneven surface.
Yoga is not advised in conditions of severe pain & inflammation.
But emotional health and skin diseases are directly related and Yoga for calming mind is recommended in plantar warts. Regular stretching and mild cardio exercises are also advised. A specific yogacharya including naadisuddhi pranayama, bhujangaasana, pavanamuktasana is recommended.
Regular exercise helps improve bioavailability of the medicine and food ingested and leads to positive health.
Yoga can maintain harmony within the body and with the surrounding system.
Simple exercises for lungs and heart health
All the exercises and physical exertions must be decided and done under the supervision of a medical expert only.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, United States. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your GP before the intake. All the Ayurveda Supplements mentioned here are in the Indian Market with GMP Certification from India.
Dr. Rajesh Nair, the co-founder and chief consultant of Ayurvedaforall.Com, is a graduate of prestigious Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda College (affiliated with the University of Calicut), Kerala, India. Additionally, he holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Yoga Therapy from Annamalai University.
Dr. Nair offers consultation at two busy clinics in and around Haripad, Alleppey, Kerala, the southern state famous worldwide for authentic ayurvedic treatment and physicians. While offering consultation on all aspects of ayurvedic treatments Dr. Nair has a special interest in Panchkarma, Yoga, and Massage.
Through Ayurvedaforall Dr. Nair offers online consultation to patients worldwide and has served hundreds of patients over the last 20 years. In addition to his Ayurvedic practice, he is the chief editor of ayurveda-amai.org, the online portal of Ayurveda Medical Association of India, and the state committee member of Ayurveda Medical Association of India.
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